the cup in use - Astronaut Don Pettit invented an innovative concept drinking cup during the STS-126 mission. This is a design based on his innovation - the goal was to make the cup comfortable & efficient for spaceflight. This was not an official NASA project.
Liquid stays in though surface tension - the attraction between water & surfaces they touch. Coffee is squirted into the cup from a space drink bag.
Problem with space drinks
The astronaut's invention and how it works
the design concept - The whole feeling of the cup changes to a more terrestrial recognizable shape.. reminding the astronauts of home.
A deep reservoir holds liquids in the bottom while a recess running up the side wicks it to the drinking area. Near the lip of the cup, a second reservoir holds a bead of the liquid near the person's mouth.
how the concept would work - The mug shape would be molded or formed from plastic sheet, thin walled and open in the bottom - like an upside down plastic cup with a recess in the bottle for the drink.
The liquid would stay in though surface tension and the deep recessed forms in the cup. To fill the it, coffee would be squirted in from a space drink bag.
Manufacturing ideas for the unique environment - Right now, clothes and food containers are disposed of after 1 use in space habitats... there's no way to easily wash or re-use them.
Weight is also a huge concern, so something like solid ceramic mugs wouldn't be ideal.
If the cups are made like disposable plastic cups, they'd take up very little space and be lightweight. They could be reused, or thrown away.
...what if it didn't work? - This is how it's imagined to be used, but what if it didn't work? What if the reservoir didn't have enough surface tension to hold the liquid?
Full Size (highres_width x highres_height)
an alternate version, just in case... - It appeared that the deep recessed shape and how close the liquid is to the walls would made a difference in how the cup would hold the coffee.
If the larger reservoir didn't work, what could make it work?
The plan B solution : deeper recesses with all the liquid much closer to the plastic walls...
Human comforts in an extreme environment - Everything I learned about spaceflight while at NASA pointed to the discomforts and dangers astronauts face. As a designer, exploring ways of giving them more comforts from home in this extreme environment was a way I could contribute.
picked up in blogs and magazines
no need for a flat base...
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