Drinking on Earth is dominated by gravity as we essentially pour the liquids into our mouths. In orbiting and deep space spacecraft, where gravity effects are near-zero, this method cannot be used. Astronauts routinely suck beverages from a bag through a straw, a suboptimal method for enjoying aromatic beverages and engaging the full olfactory system in the drinking process. NASA contractors IRPI LLC. and Spaceware conduct the Capillary Beverage Experiment onboard the International Space Station (ISS) and design a Space Cup that passively replaces the role gravity plays in drinking with a combination of cup shape, and the beverage fluid properties. The Space Cup provides astronauts an earth-like drinking experience from a vessel with a familiar feel to those left at home on Earth.
Hours of high-resolution video and images of ISS astronauts drinking water, juice, tea, coffee, and peach mango smoothly are provided for scientific research and public outreach. The footage is a delight to see as decades of microgravity fluid research is applied to enhance the quality of living and the capabilities of working in space.