After too much coffee, you may feel like you are float, but for astronauts getting their coffee to stop floating can be a real headache.
In a video published to celebrate International Coffee Day, European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti has revealed how she prepared her morning coffee without the help of gravity during her stay on the International Space Station (ISS).
Using a specially designed ‘space cup,” Ms. Cristoforetti was able to get her morning drink without difficulty, even while orbiting 420 kilometers (250 miles) above the nearest coffee shop.
The images show the Italian astronaut carefully pouring her coffee from a sealed bag into a curiously shaped cup.
For astronauts, even having a cup open is a big challenge, however, this invention allows ISS residents to enjoy some of the simple pleasures of life on Earth.
While the surface tension of coffee means it can’t be poured from any old container, the special shape of the space mug allows you to drink coffee almost as you would on Earth.
Ms. Cristoforetti is a renowned space coffee enthusiast and became the first person to drink espresso brewed on the ISS in 2015.
READ MORE: What is the longest anyone has been in space?
Welcome home: This week, NASA astronaut Frank Rubio set an American record for the longest continuous space flight, logging a staggering 371 days in orbit. But did he set a world or out-of-this-world record? Surprisingly not: here MailOnline delves into previous missions where brave astronauts spent even more time in orbit.
The video was filmed last year during Cristoforetti’s 170-day stay in orbit, during which she became the first female commander of the ISS.
Cristoforetti arrived at the ISS on April 27, 2022 and returned to Earth on October 14.
Commenters on social media have shared their amazement at the design.
“It’s the little things that remind us of the reality of a spacefaring civilization,” one user wrote.
Another joked that they would like their space coffee “with lots of liquefied sugar, please.”
In the video, Cristoforetti demonstrates the difficulty of drinking in space: coffee poured into a small bottle is trapped there by the influence of its own surface tension.
Astronauts looking for their caffeine fix have to make do with aluminum bags prefilled with freeze-dried coffee, milk and sugar into which hot water can be pumped.
NASA scientist Dr. Mark Weislogel, who helped design the glass, explained in a blog: “In a spacecraft, if the effects of surface tension are not understood, liquids (e.g., water, fuel ) can be practically anywhere in the container that contains them.
“That’s why in space you will only see astronauts drinking from bags with straws so that they can completely fold the bag and ensure that the liquids come out.”
To solve these problems, NASA has designed a cup that uses clever geometry to exploit the physics of surface tension.
Touching your lips to the edge of the space cup creates a “capillary connection,” drawing liquid into your mouth the same way a paper towel absorbs water.
X commenters shared their amazement at the space-age design and how they couldn’t live in space if it meant giving up their morning coffee.
The shape of the space cup creates a capillary connection between the liquid and the mouth from the moment the lips touch the rim.
The ISS-presso machine was designed by coffee company Lavazza and spent more than two years aboard the ISS to provide freshly brewed coffee to astronauts.
However, sending the cups into space wasn’t just about making astronauts’ mornings more enjoyable, it was serious science.
The same physics that helps pour coffee from a cup into your mouth affects all liquids, whether on Earth or in space.
As Dr. Wesilogal explains, observing how the space cup operates in zero gravity will help scientists learn everything from “getting the last drop of fuel for a rocket engine to administering the perfect dose of medication to a patient.” .
The experiments conducted in the space cup will also help prevent disasters on future long-distance space travel, such as a trip to Mars.
This isn’t the first time some serious science has gone into better preparation aboard the ISS.
In 2015, the Italian Space Agency, in collaboration with engineering company Argotec and coffee company Lavazza, designed the Isspresso machine: the world’s first microgravity espresso machine.
The 44-pound (20 kg) machine spent two years aboard the ISS and used steel hydraulic pipes to produce a cup of hot, freshly brewed espresso in about three minutes.
Even with Isspresso’s advanced design, coffee was still pumped into a drinking bag, so caffeine addicts in space would still need to use the space mug to enjoy the aroma of their drink.
EXPLAINED: THE $100 BILLION INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION IS LOCATED 250 MILES ABOVE EARTH
The International Space Station (ISS) is a $100 billion (£80 billion) science and engineering laboratory orbiting 400 kilometers (250 miles) above Earth.
Since November 2000, it has permanently staffed rotating crews of astronauts and cosmonauts.
The crews come mainly from the United States and Russia, but the Japanese space agency JAXA and the European space agency ESA have also sent astronauts.
The International Space Station has been continuously occupied for more than 20 years and has been exhausted with the addition of multiple new modules and systems upgrades.
Research conducted aboard the ISS often requires one or more of the unusual conditions present in low Earth orbit, such as low gravity or oxygen.
ISS studies have investigated human research, space medicine, biological sciences, physical sciences, astronomy and meteorology.
The US space agency, NASA, spends around $3bn (£2.4bn) a year on the space station programme, with the rest of the funding coming from international partners including Europe, Russia and Japan.
So far, 244 people from 19 countries have visited the station, including eight private citizens who spent up to $50 million on their visit.
There is an ongoing debate about the future of the station beyond 2025, when it is believed that part of the original structure will reach the “end of its useful life”.
Russia, a major partner of the station, plans to launch its own orbital platform by then, and Axiom Space, a private company, plans to send its own modules for purely commercial use to the station at the same time.
NASA, ESA, JAXA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) are working together to build a space station in orbit around the Moon, and Russia and China are working on a similar project, which would also include a base on the surface .