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Scientists Finally Invent an Espresso Cup Suitable for Space

No more sipping coffee out of a plastic bag with a straw.


Scientists may have found a way to get astronauts really good coffee in space, but what's the point of a zero-gravity certified espresso machine if there's no good cup to drink it out of? Currently, astronauts sip coffee out of plastic pouches with a straw — essentially a Capri Sun filled with hot liquid. Soon, however, astronauts may be able to sip espresso out of small little cups, just like the rest of us.

Wired writes that researchers at Portland State University spent the past year creating an espresso cup suitable for space. The cup's odd shape makes it look like a "plastic baby boot" or, from another angle, a mouse. It will be 3D printed. The shape was determined by a mathematical model that encourages "the controlled movement of liquid." Thanks to some fancy science, when an astronaut connects their mouth with the lip of the cup, "a capillary connection is formed and the liquid travels up the vessel and forms sippable balls of coffee."

The cups are still being tested, but could soon become a reality because "no respectable espresso-drinking astronaut wants to sip brew out of a bag." They want to drink balls of coffee instead. Check out a rendering of the coffee cup below:


Courtesy of Portland State University