July 15, 2013: High above our satellite in the region of satellites and space stations, the companion rules of Earth do not apply. The noon sky is a black as night. There is no up and no down. spend objects do not fall, and hot air does not rise. Of all the strange things that happen up there, however, it is possible that the foreign happens to coffee .Zero G Coffee (splash)
A new ScienceCast video recording describes the strange behavior of chocolate in microgravity. Play it Physics professor Mark Weislogel of Portland State University has given a fortune of opinion to coffee ( and other fluids ) in space, and he describes what happens :

“ For starters, ” he says, “ it would be a job fair getting the coffee into the cup. Absent the attract of graveness, pouring liquids can be very catchy. ” “ But, for the sake of argument, let ’ s speculate you are on the space place and you have a cup of chocolate in your hand. ” The most natural thing would be to tip the cup toward your lips, but when you do…. “ The chocolate would be very heavily to control, ” he continues. “ In fact, it credibly would n’t [ come out of the cup ]. You ‘d have to shake the cup toward your confront and hope that some of the hot liquid breaks unleash and floats toward your mouth. ”Zero G Coffee (Cady, 200px)
Astronaut Cady Coleman performs a Capillary Flow Experiment inside corner run screen. more On the bright side, you will probably be wide alert by the time the cup is empty. chocolate is not the only liquid that misbehaves in quad. Cryogenic fuels, thermal coolants, drinkable body of water and urine do it, excessively. The behavior of fluids is one of the most un-intuitive things in all of distance flight. This poses an extreme challenge for engineers designing spacecraft systems that use fluids. “ Our intuition is all wrong, ” laments Weislogel. “ When it comes to guessing what fluids will do in new systems, we are often in the dark. ”

To develop a better understanding of fluids in microgravity, Weislogel and colleagues are conducting the Capillary Flow Experiment onboard the International Space Station. For exemplify, one of the devices in their experiment suite looks at “ home corners. ” If two solid surfaces meet at a narrow-enough angle, fluids in microgravity naturally flow along the join—no pump required. This capillary effect could be used to guide all kinds of fluids through spacecraft, from cryogenic fuel to recycled neutralize water. The phenomenon is difficult to study on Earth, where it is damped by graveness, so far on the outer space station big scale corner flows are easy to create and observe .Zero G Coffee (Don, 200px)
Don Pettit drinks from a zero-G chocolate cup. Youtube video Weislogel and colleagues have already been granted three patents for devices invented as a result of their work. One is for a microgravity condensing estrus exchanger. Another describes a device that separates and controls multiphase fluids. The third patent is for — you guessed it — a low-gravity coffee cup. Astronaut Don Pettit, who worked with the Capillary Flow Experiment during his time on board the ISS, helped invent the cup, and he shares the apparent along with Weisogel and two mathematicians, Paul Concus and Robert Finns, who performed the first theoretical analysis of the phenomenon. basically, one side of the cup has a sharp home corner. In the microgravity environment of the outer space station, capillary forces send fluid menstruate along the channel justly into the lips of the drinker. “ As you sip, more fluent keeps coming, and you can enjoy your coffee in a weightless environment — clear down to the last drop, ” says Pettit. “ This may well be what future space colonists use when they want to have a celebration. ” indeed, the patent application specifically mentions “ toasting ” as one of the uses of the device.

It ’ s easy to imagine what they might be toasting : toilets and atmosphere conditioners and fuel tanks and recycling systems, working better thanks to capillary flow experiments on the ISS. Credits: writer : Dr. Tony Phillips | Production editor program : Dr. Tony Phillips | Credit : skill @ NASA