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Microgravity Coffee Cup

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the shattering-all-my-conceptions dept.

ISS 88

BuzzSkyline writes "Despite the fact that astronauts have been eating and drinking out of tubes for decades, it's actually possible to drink from an open-top cup in space. Astronaut Don Pettit recently downlinked a video that shows him slurping coffee from a cup he kludged out of plastic sheet. It appears to work pretty much like a cup on Earth, even in freefall aboard the International Space Station, thanks to capillary action."

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Don Pettit (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162345)

Don Pettit is both the smartest and craziest man I've ever met.
He's built all sorts of crazy gadgets in space.

Years ago he took the space station's vacuum cleaner into reverse and rode around on it, Slim Pickins style through the space station.
He also smelts his own metals in a forge in his back yard to make various things.

Re:Don Pettit (4, Insightful)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162467)

    This is an excellent demonstration of why we need to further our space travel. It may seem trivial, but to get real advancements in space require people there. Theory is nice and all, but there's so much to learn from practice.

    A better example of what I'm saying is thrust. There are plenty of people on the ground theorizing about the bigger and better thrust systems. There are some neat ideas. People would be able to work through them faster by actually being there, and not only doing the specified projects, but their personal pet projects. For example, someone may discover that a windmill style device for turning solar winds into usable energy, and cosmic could be converted into some usable fuel.

    A cup is something. It's an example of what can be done from interest or necessity. Something that we're rapidly abandoning, as we watch manned space travel dwindle down to nothing.

Re:Don Pettit (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162507)

yes after 40 years and billions of dollars, we now know its possible to drink from a cup in LEO, space .... the final frontier

Re:Don Pettit (4, Interesting)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162615)

    Don't confuse government spending with the worth of the projects. There have been an abundance of amazing technologies that have come about due to the space programs. We'd have even more if we had many generations of spacecraft, building upon known technology. From Mercury to the Shuttle, there were tremendous advancements. What would it be like if we had multiple generations of spacecraft, and real space based societies?

    Antarctica has a population in the thousands during the winter. Space? The most I could find was 13 [space.com] . That's not a huge population for a space faring population. That's a camping trip, without the woods. To put it in comparison, 0.0000002% of the world population was in space at the same time. Once.

    No one does fun little experiments like "What happens if you space a water balloon?". There are important things to know, and until more people are up there doing oddball experiments, we won't discover 'em.

    And, I'm all for spacing a water balloon. A thermite filled balloon launched towards the atmosphere should make a pretty light show. It might need to be a pretty big balloon. Lots of room to experiment. :)
   

Re:Don Pettit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39163053)

>There have been an abundance of amazing technologies that have come about due to the space programs.

Such as digital watches.
http://youtu.be/P0keUhMiZ44

Re:Don Pettit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162659)

We've spent more on wars since 9/11; what have we gained from those?

Knowledge is more important than money anyway.

Re:Don Pettit (2)

Hamsterdan (815291) | more than 2 years ago | (#39163291)

There's no oil in space

Re:Don Pettit (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 2 years ago | (#39168583)

There's no oil in space

How do we know that? Has there been deep drilling on some other planets that I haven't read about?

Yeah; if I had to place a bet, I'd bet against any of the other planets in our solar system having oil. But that's something different that actually knowing that there's no oil anywhere in all those large areas where we've never drilled at all.

For all we know, the data showing that Europa probably has a deep liquid layer below its surface might be because there's kilometers-deep layer of (extra-virgin olive) oil there.

Re:Don Pettit (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162827)

yes after 40 years and billions of dollars, we now know its possible to drink from a cup in LEO, space .... the final frontier

And if you think that's the only thing which has come out of the Space Age, you're a complete idiot. Despite your current "Insightful" moderation. I'd mark you as Troll but there's too many of you to waste points on these days.

Re:Don Pettit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39163615)

Um, except for satellites, the "space age" really didn't invent anything so much as use what already existed. WWII, missiles? Hello? The space age came AFTER we already had the technology in place. Or are you one of those delightful people who thinks we only have computers because of NASA? Or you really think we're getting our money's worth from the ISS?

Re:Don Pettit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39163311)

yes after 40 years and billions of dollars, we now know its possible to drink from a cup in LEO, space .... the final frontier

2girls, 1cup, 0g? (You didn't expect me to post this nymously, did you?)

Re:Don Pettit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39163425)

Spot on 100% correct. But flies in the face of the geek religion that space is this wonderful, glorious destination for the species. It's an emtpy hell, and our technology, hell, PHYSICS itself is the absolute limit. What we have now is *IT*.

Re:Don Pettit (2)

noh8rz2 (2538714) | more than 2 years ago | (#39164333)

this ac was modded troll, although he has an insightful and valid point (if also a little bit of snark). every dollar spent in one place is taken away from another place. The space program is cool and makes cups, but is it the best investment of research dollars? Compared to other potential research topics, or other uses for the money? I don't know the answer, but the question stands.

Re:Don Pettit (1)

Sperbels (1008585) | more than 2 years ago | (#39165645)

yes after 40 years and billions of dollars, we now know its possible to drink from a cup in LEO, space .... the final frontier

It's better than giving it to banks to cover their lousy investments.

Re:Don Pettit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39165773)

Yes, let's toss families out of their houses, because hey, space cups.

Re:Don Pettit (3, Insightful)

Sperbels (1008585) | more than 2 years ago | (#39165847)

Yes, let's toss families out of their houses, because hey, space cups.

What? You think that money spent on NASA is toss into a spaceship and blasted into space never to be seen again? No, that money is going right back into businesses here on earth, and back into people's pockets. And we have a cutting edge aerospace industry that makes those robotic probes possible. It's produces something useful. Banks do fine on their own. They're simply wringing money out of the American tax payer because they can simply buy the right people to make it legal. NASA puts men on the fucking moon when we give them money. When we give money to banks they create economic disasters and a handful of really rich guys.

Re:Don Pettit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39177811)

Yet you think money spent on bailing out banks *does* disappear? Because they didn't put a man on the fucking moon? Huh?

Re:Don Pettit (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#39169167)

Better than tossing families out of their houses because we want to bomb some third world country into the stone age to prove our moral superiority.

Re:Don Pettit (1)

everett (154868) | more than 2 years ago | (#39173535)

Because this is America, and we don't believe in personal responsibility here. It's your god given right to live in a house you can't afford.

Re:Don Pettit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162641)

jo_ham is a sockpuppet account of that Apple fag bonch. He takes nigger cock up his ass.

Re:Don Pettit (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162751)

I'm sorry but you are wrong and here is why: We have learned more about our system from a single NASA probe than from 40 years of /kicks on reverb/ "Meatbags in spaaaace!" /kills pedal/ because we meatbags are incredibly fragile creatures that have an insane amount of crap we have to have brought along with us, things like food, water, toilets, a place to sleep, all of this adds weight and with engines that frankly aren't really any more advanced than the old Saturn rockets its INSANELY expensive per pound, and because of the first reason we are pretty much stuck at LEO and finally with the entire right wing signing Grover Norquist's "No new taxes on teh rich EVAR!" pledge good luck doing anything about the debt we are drowning in which means no more money for NASA, hell look at how many are having a shitfit at Obama calling to LOWER corporate taxes simply because he wants to close the loopholes that give companies like GE billions in return for nothing.

So we have to accept some things 1.- The NASA budget will NEVER be back up to the glory days of the cold war, 2.- With an economy that will most likely be finally killed outright when gas hits $5 a gallon we won't be able to raise the budget for NASA and 3.- it will cost billions to get us a new rocket thanks to sen Porkus and Congressman kickbackman wanting to "bring home the bacon" by having some piece of it built in their district and they will vigorously cockblock anything they can't get their snouts in.

In the end we really have only one choice, and that is stay on the course NASA is on and concentrate on probes. Sure we can bum rides with the Russians but that is only a band aid as their tech is getting long in the tooth too (Soyuz is what? 40+ years old?) and all it will take is a few more massive fails and they may end up grounded for good. So our only real choice is to continue to get the absolute most bang for the buck we can and that is small and light probes we can launch on Atlas and Delta rockets. Maybe if we had a congress that gave a shit about the country as a whole instead of their own enrichment we might actually be able to do something, but what are the odds of that happening? About the same as you winning the lotto while being struck by lightning.

Re:Don Pettit (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39164127)

how about making the military buy any bombs over lets say 0.5 ton through a fundraiser, and give that money to NASA. I'll still fund the ammunition, bullets, cannon rounds, tank rounds, etc, just nothing that goes "BOOM!" Allow the military to petition for funds to buy a bomb on a case by case basis (This would really be "justify the use of the bomb they did use so as to get money to replace it", not actually have to get permission to use it, or the lead time to have one built.)

I think the military could still do their primary objective (defense of our country) without most of the explosives.

Granted there are propbably some loopholes that would need to be addressed in the above, but you get the idea.

Re:Don Pettit (0)

fwarren (579763) | more than 2 years ago | (#39165435)

finally with the entire right wing signing Grover Norquist's "No new taxes on teh rich EVAR!" pledge good luck doing anything about the debt we are drowning in which means no more money for NASA, hell look at how many are having a shitfit at Obama calling to LOWER corporate taxes simply because he wants to close the loopholes that give companies like GE billions in return for nothing.

Your really worried about the Republicans? Really?

Take a look at the lay of the land. Texas and Northern Florida both elect Republicans. The with a Democratic Majority, anything space related starves republican communities and leads to the chance of more Democratic victories in the future.

What the United States has left of a space program is being gutted by the Democrats. I would predict that the Republicans would re-fund NASA and the space sector. Not continue to strip it down as would happen if the Democrats win the Presidency.

Re:Don Pettit (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39167851)

You are forgetting folks are getting tired of spiraling debt and the teabaggers have won enough seats to become real thorns in the old party reps. Mark my words though none of it matters as we WILL have a nasty false flag pulled on us in the next 12 months, something that I'm betting will make the twin towers look like a bad joke, something they can use to lock down the net and throw dissenters into camps. Why is that? simple the Federal Reserve charter expires in 2013 and they know with all the hatred the people have for the fed and their little backdoor bullshit the odds of a grassroots group NOT blocking their moneymaking scam is nil...unless no grassroots can be formed. Did you know billions "Went missing" between the end of Dubya and the start of Obama? Wouldn't be surprised if that has been going on for decades. the fed is the biggest moneymaking scam those at the top have EVER had, don't expect them to give that up without a fight.

Frankly whether NASA gets any more monies will be the least of our worries, my guess is they will call in the Greek loans to cause a collapse and that tied in with a war in Iran causing gas to shoot through the roof will destroy the EU. Then with Americans scared that $100 bill in their pocket is gonna be worth 50c they'll be able to ram through every jackbooted dream they've ever had, just like PATRIOT and NDAA. Mark my words, its coming. Be sure to have plenty of non perishable food, things other than cash for barter, and a gun or two probably wouldn't be a bad idea, especially if you live in a city because if they make gas hit $9 a gallon thanks to a war with Iran food will get scarce there.

Re:Don Pettit (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 2 years ago | (#39170141)

I'm sorry but you are wrong and here is why: We have learned more about our system from a single NASA probe than from 40 years of /kicks on reverb/ "Meatbags in spaaaace!" /kills pedal/

    So, you're saing V'ger is far superior in the advancement of human space travel, than the ISS and Space Shuttle programs? I find that, and the continued dialogue entertaining.

    We waste more in endless foreign wars, than we do for so many other things.

    Probes are nice and all, but they have a lot to be desired. Probes are good for recon. It still takes boots on the ground (as it may be) to learn more. Once a probe is launched, it can't do tests outside of its spec. My water balloon out the airlock is a simple example. Probes can't reconfigure, and do things that they weren't designed to, which people do very well.

Re:Don Pettit (1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | more than 2 years ago | (#39163287)

^
This

I might ever lead to being able to build my own Twin Ion Engine spaceship

Re:Don Pettit (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162717)

I couldn't agree more. The only thing I could add to this is that he who smelt it, dealt it... but I'm sure that 'experiment' has been done a lot up there already.

Re:Don Pettit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39164133)

Years ago, I took my vacuum cleaner, hooked up the hose to the exhaust and used the air to inflate a heavy-duty garbage bag. I poked some holes in the bottom of the bag and it made a good hovercraft. This didn't cost billions of dollars. Where's my prize and/or breathless fan club? Seriously, if this level of idiocy is what gets you geeks hard and moist, it's time to re-evaluate your life.

Re:Don Pettit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39169805)

Well....you just gave me something I want to do more than go skydiving. But I remember a while ago someone made a cup like this out of paper too, forgot who it was.

that's great (4, Interesting)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162349)

I didn't stop to think about the problem of getting the liquid to your mouth, I figured the hard part was getting it to go into and stay into the cup.

Re:that's great (1)

cold fjord (826450) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162471)

Especially without a Klein bottle [kleinbottle.com] coffee cup.

Re:that's great (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162769)

that's what she said.

(captcha: 'dismally')

Re:that's great (-1, Flamebait)

optimism (2183618) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162923)

TFV shows the cup being filled. Looks pretty easy.

But it's no real achievement. He replaced sucking liquid from a comfortable round straw, with sucking liquid from a knife-edged container. The straw is much more practical and usable.

This article just reinforces the fact that today's human astronauts are a terrible waste of time and money.

We never have the ~really~ smart guys up there, because the smart ones run the numbers and don't like a 1% chance of dying on a rocket ride (actually the space shuttle had an even worse fatality rate). So the guys we send right now are highly programmed robots. Let's just send mechanical robots, until we can make it safer and cheaper.

Re:that's great (2)

Anonymus (2267354) | more than 2 years ago | (#39163219)

A lot of ~really~ smart guys know that life is what you make of it. There are plenty of ~really~ smart guys who would gladly take a 5% chance of dying to experience something they've dreamed of since childhood, and that only a ridiculously small number of humans ever get to do.

Re:that's great (1)

optimism (2183618) | more than 2 years ago | (#39164173)

Clearly you've never interacted with astronauts and potential astronauts.

The ones who go up there are absolutely not the "best & brightest". In the beginning, they were good test pilots. Now, they are politically connected. In either case, peak intelligence is not a factor.

Think about it. Why would risk their life riding a rocket to orbit?

If you want to see earth from space, there are plenty of orbital cameras with better resolution than your eyes.

If you want to experience free-fall, you can go skydiving pretty much anywhere, any day of the week, with orders of magnitude smaller risk.

If you want to run free-fall experiments, you can send them up with the robots.

That leaves what? Bragging rights, and a significant risk of death. The smartest folks don't care about the former, and they avoid the latter. So they stay on the planet.

But the big problem is that we send humans at all. It's a terrible waste of resources. Anything a human can do in earth orbit, can be done much more safely and cheaply and efficiently by a human on the ground, via remote control.

Re:that's great (2)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | more than 2 years ago | (#39166729)

But the big problem is that we send humans at all. It's a terrible waste of resources.

I couldn't disagree more. Some day humans will have to and will want to leave earth and live on space stations and/or other planets, and the knowledge we collect now about how the human body can survive in such environments will be vital. This might happen soon or in many hundred years from now, but it will happen. Perhaps we will also have artificial gravity, better medical support, and all kinds of other things that make life in space easier until then but in the end all of these gimmicks will build upon prior research including the research we do now.

In the long run learning how to put humans into space is much more important than running experiments that could be automatized.

Re:that's great (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#39167047)

The ones who go up there are absolutely not the "best & brightest". In the beginning, they were good test pilots. Now, they are politically connected. In either case, peak intelligence is not a factor.

I doubt there are too many test pilots who are stupid. The politically connected may be another story.

Think about it. Why would risk their life riding a rocket to orbit?

I don't think intelligence and risk-aversion are necessarily correlated, nor are intelligence and thrill-seeking necesarily negatively correlated; intelligence just means you can figure out the risk, not that you'll avoid it.

If you want to see earth from space, there are plenty of orbital cameras with better resolution than your eyes.

So why go on sightseeing vacations when you can watch travelogues? Fact is, there's still no substitute for being there.

If you want to experience free-fall, you can go skydiving pretty much anywhere, any day of the week, with orders of magnitude smaller risk.

It's not the same, and I can say that without having been in space. During the free fall phase of skydiving (which is actually very short; it doesn't take long for air resistance to become substantial), you can't really do anything or notice anything except the brief feeling of falling and then the wind rushing past you. Being in free fall in a calm environment at rest around you is very different. A ride in the Vomit Comet might give you a taste but not skydiving.

Re:that's great (1)

TheRedSeven (1234758) | more than 2 years ago | (#39164049)

I thought for sure this story was going to be a dupe of a different solution to the drink-from-a-cup-in-microgravity problem: http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/08/01/17/2323236/corkscrew-cups-could-keep-space-drinks-flowing [slashdot.org]

I like the corkscrew cup better, personally. It looks 'cooler,' especially when it's full. The obvious issues are likely to be the weight-to-volume ratio difference between the cups, and the fact that the flexible cup shown in the current article collapses to a smaller volume for storage.

The thing that strikes me about this version is that essentially they're using capillary action in micrograv to create a 'virtual straw' of sorts inside the cup. Clever result.

Coincidentally (3, Informative)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162355)

This is also how manoeuvering thruster fuel tanks work, so that engines in microgravity get a continuous flow of fuel without need for ullage motors [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Coincidentally (-1, Redundant)

TheABomb (180342) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162451)

Gazizza, dilznoofus! Get with the crizappy taste of Rocket Fuel malt liquor! Rocket Fuel's got the upstate prison taste that keeps you ugly all night long! So when you wanna get SICK, remember, nothing makes yo' FEET STANK like Rocket Fuel malt liquour.

DAYAM! IT'S CRIZAPPY!

Challenge Question? (1)

rush,overlord,rush! (1995452) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162361)

"Why can't you use a regular cup in macrogravity?" I think I can, if I have a drinking straw.

Re:Challenge Question? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39163163)

"Why can't you use a regular cup in macrogravity?" I think I can, if I have a drinking straw.

Unless you work as a full time hooker I doubt that you can provide enough suckage to get the liquid from the bottom of the cup.

Re:Challenge Question? (1)

KreAture (105311) | more than 2 years ago | (#39163997)

You only need a slight pressure-differential to drink with a straw in space as there is no gravity to lift liquid against.
As you saw in the video capillary forces hold the liquid in the "cup" and if there was a straw in it, the capillary forces would pull the liquid all the way up to the tip.
Oh and since both you and the surface of the fluid is in the same pressure environment you don't have to fight the vacuum of space either.

Coming soon: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162367)

beer pong in space!

I want a spacestation, too (0)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162377)

Nerd toys.

6 astronauts, 1 cup. (4, Funny)

Vandil X (636030) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162399)

Rule 34, baby.

Re:6 astronauts, 1 cup. (4, Funny)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162411)

You did not...See this is why we can't have nice things people! This is why we can't have nice things.

Re:6 astronauts, 1 cup. (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162465)

Don't worry. This is the exception.

Number one you can't film things like that in space.... well not right now due to policy... so it could change...

Well don't forget about the fact that gravity does not exist on the space station too. Can you imagine what that would be like in a confined space? People curled up into tight little balls propelling themselves around. The horror...

Re:6 astronauts, 1 cup. (2)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162579)

Gravity exists. But you are in free fall falling back towards the earth at exactly the same rate, so you don't perceive the effects of gravity. But "zero gee" does not mean the absence of gravity - only the absence of its observed effects.

Re:6 astronauts, 1 cup. (1)

Tacvek (948259) | more than 2 years ago | (#39165995)

"0 g" is a specifier of acceleration magnitude (gravitational acceleration included).

Except tidal forces[1] an object in an orbiting spacecraft experiences an external acceleration (relative to the craft) of exactly zero magnitude. When not ignoring them we get really small accelerations on the order of .000001g or 1 ug [2], hence microgravity.

Furthermore for the purposes of local experiments, it is correct to treat the craft as a proper inertial reference frame, despite appearing substantially non-internal by a distant observer. (This is the Einstein equivalence principle.)

[1] and things like the very small air resistance of the near-vacuum
[2] the "u" should be micro, but I cannot convince slashcode to not strip that out, even html encoding seems to not work.

Re:6 astronauts, 1 cup. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162561)

Actually you jest, but there is a video of two astro-naughties testing out which physical positions and acts would work in space... and NASA refuses to release the video(good thing IMHO) but basically doggy style was the only position that worked, since the guy could hold the girl's hips and thrust her that way. All other positions would require some special sleeping bag type solution where they would have handles on the inside.

Of course this was done for scientific purposes... to see about future human reproduction... but still... kinda cool IMHO

Re:6 astronauts, 1 cup. (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 2 years ago | (#39163035)

Of course this was done for scientific purposes... to see about future human reproduction...

I would think that it would be a far better idea to build space stations with artificial gravity[1] and radiation shielding before trying human reproduction.

These two items should be NASAs main priorities[2] if they really want humans in space. Otherwise they should pack-up and stop wasting time and resources.

[1] Can be done by spinning stuff. The station does not have to be huge if tethers are used.
[2] Figuring out a really cheap way to get into orbit would be nice too, but as long as we do not have the first two prerequisites there are few technical reasons to have humans in space. You might as well use autonomous robots first. It's mainly political and PR crap.

Re:6 astronauts, 1 cup. (1)

Marcx77 (1193559) | more than 2 years ago | (#39163083)

See? Useful research! Humans are still very much needed up there to come up with ideas that yield tangible rewards. No one can claim that it isn't valuable to learn something new about something as essential to space exploration as thrust.

Not just capillary action. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162413)

It's also dependent on surface tension. Surface tension is what makes liquids form balls of fluid in zero gee. The gap is too great in the cup for mere capillary action to contain it I'd even say it's more dependent on surface tension than capillary action.

Re:Not just capillary action. (3, Informative)

nadaou (535365) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162485)

capillary action is a manifestation of surface tension

Re:Not just capillary action. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162499)

capillary action is a manifestation of surface tension

Not so. Capillary action depends on two surfaces where as surface tension doesn't need constraining forces. Surface tension can exist with NO surfaces where as capillary action requires two surfaces. Were we asleep in science class that day?

Re:Not just capillary action. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162599)

so as you described, capillary action is a special case of surface tension with two surfaces, as described by parent. Apparently you were the one asleep in science class that day. :)

Re:Not just capillary action. (4, Informative)

nadaou (535365) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162627)

I said it was a manifestation of it, not that the two were equivalent terms.

I highly recommend the MIT video series by Asher Shapiro on the subject:

http://web.mit.edu/hml/ncfmf.html [mit.edu]

"Surface Tension in Fluid Mechanics"

the videos are excellent (and that's a big understatement), but if you are in a hurry just have a look at the section talking about contact angles in the film notes: http://web.mit.edu/hml/ncfmf/04STFM.pdf [mit.edu]

Re:Not just capillary action. (1)

nadaou (535365) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162639)

ps- bazinga

Re:Not just capillary action. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162737)

capillary action is a manifestation of surface tension

Where are the capillaries? Better to say it's just surface tension at work here, and the summary is wrong.

Well! (0)

kimvette (919543) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162427)

Well! This is a refreshing story!

Revisiting an old topic (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162435)

This is the second time Don Pettit has made a video about these cups. The first time was in 2008: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pk7LcugO3zg

A Matter of Timing (4, Interesting)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162441)

If you had a cup of coffee every morning on the Space Station, your heart would probably explode.

(the sun 'rises' every ~90 minutes for the ISS)

Similar to my work pattern... (2)

gwolf (26339) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162477)

I usually get a cup of coffee every 60-90 minutes. Do I get to be an astronaut?

Re:Similar to my work pattern... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39163277)

Do employees have to pay for coffee at McDonalds? ;)

When he talks about rocket engines ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162463)

he sounds like sheldon cooper ... esp. "so you get a gas bubble in a rocket engine - they don't like that." but essentially the whole segment starting around 1:50 :D

Capillary Action (0)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162469)

Ah, Capillary Action.

The source of all of my science fair projects.

Aww, man (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162587)

Watching that video made me want to be an astronaut again. Haven't felt that way in a long time. We need cheap, publicly available space flight in the next 50 years or I'm gonna be very disappointed.

Re:Aww, man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39163553)

Why? Why do we *need* it? As entertainement for bored, rich, white middle-aged men? We don't even have supersonic passenger transport right here in Earth, where there are destinations at *both* ends, but it's vitally important to go into a total, deadly vacuum? Why? Do you ever question your assumptions, or why you have such peculiar beliefs?

illogical (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162603)

What they're not telling you is that before coffee, they experimented with Red Bull. It turns out it gives you wings but despite being in a compressed air microgravity environment, the whole equal and opposite reaction thing messed up the flight too much.

eh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162605)

wasn't this posted like 3 months ago?

Food in space... (0)

freeze128 (544774) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162633)

Astronaut Don Pettit recently downlinked a video that shows him slurping coffee from a cup he kludged out of plastic sheet.

Astronaut Don Knotts has proved that it is also possible to eat peanut butter and crackers while in a microgravity environment.

Is that cooffee? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162741)

Seriously, if that transparen slightly brown liquid that looks like watered down sewage water is what goes for coffee in space, then I'm not going. Unless I can bring my own supply of coffe beans, a grinder and a proper moca-brewer.

Re:No, it is tea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162813)

Seriously

Re:Is that cooffee? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39163071)

Your beans will be fine, but I bet all commercially available grinders and brewers fail abjectly in microgravity. French press is probably the easiest to make work, with the addition of a spigot and an air bladder for "pouring".

Where's the video? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39162749)

I was really hoping for another infomercial of Timothy demonstrating a product sold by Thinkgeek, like that shitty jacket.

Terrible waste (1)

optimism (2183618) | more than 2 years ago | (#39162999)

This just reinforces what a waste of time and money the current space program is. Yeah, it is somewhat inspirational to have humans up there at all. But terribly impractical.

In the 20th century, humans were the most compact computers & manipulators for these missions. But that is no longer the case.

It's ironic that we send people up for near-earth-orbit missions (which could be controlled from the ground with sub-second latency), while we send robots on the long missions (which would benefit most from a short-latency human controller in the vehicle).

We should put our resources into manned long missions (asteroid or mars) instead of the ISS boondoggle. And give those astronauts practical round straws, not funky knife-edged cups, for their drinks.

Re:Terrible waste (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39163235)

That's a waste of money too!

We should just live in caves and bang rocks together!

The ISS fuels creativity and imagination (2)

KingofSpades (874684) | more than 2 years ago | (#39163113)

They must really bo bored up there: his collegue created a lego replica of the ISS... within the ISS [dailymail.co.uk] .

Pretty cool, I think.

Re:The ISS fuels creativity and imagination (1)

Megane (129182) | more than 2 years ago | (#39169691)

...and you thought stepping on a Lego was bad? He had to build it in a glovebox so that the parts wouldn't fly around and get lost inside stuff.

He better be careful... (1)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39163251)

...that he doesn't spill the coffee in his lap while up there. Oh wait...

Mom! (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#39163279)

Howard Wolowitz is very jealous.

YOU FAIL IT (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39163417)

So there 4re people with process and

OLD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39163533)

This video is over 3 years old.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pk7LcugO3zg

Where's the coffee? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39164101)

Yeah but does an Aeropress work?

Laplace Young (1)

friedmud (512466) | more than 2 years ago | (#39168893)

If you're interested in modeling this phenomenon you can do so using the Laplace-Young equation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Young%E2%80%93Laplace_equation [wikipedia.org]

I did part of my Master's thesis using it... for some examples see here: http://www.cfdlab.ae.utexas.edu/labstaff/carey/GFC_Papers/Carey216.pdf [utexas.edu]

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