I normally balk when I am asked what I want for Christmas. It is not because I do not really want anything – there are a LOT of things that I would want to receive but I know that they are way out of anyone’s ability to give me. This time, though, if someone asks me, I would probably say the Zero-G coffee cup that was invented by NASA astronaut Don Pettit. Oh wait, I don’t think this is easy to acquire as well. Anyway, this cup is the coolest I have seen in a long time.
The Aero-News (need I say it focuses on astronaut stuff?) carried this report yesterday:
Reuters reports Pettit — a former flight engineer on the International Space Station, who is also part of the current STS-126 crew onboard Endeavour — came up with the idea by tinkering with a sheet of transparent plastic, folding it into the shape of an airplane’s wing and then taping the sides together. He perfected the device while onboard the ISS this month, so he could enjoy his coffee as he normally would on Earth.
“The way this works is the cross-section of this cup looks like an airplane wing. The narrow angle here will wick the coffee up,” Pettit explained in a NASA TV video conference. “We can sip most of the fluid out of these cups and we no longer have to drink our beverages sucking through a straw in a pouch.”
Pettit’s self-made sippy cup has become a hit with his fellow astronauts. On Thursday, he constructed another cup for fellow crew member Stephen Bowen… and both men used their cups to toast Pettit’s Thanksgiving proclamation, which included giving thanks for space exploration and “just because we’re in space and we can.”
Ahh, I have always wondered what the astronauts did in their spare time while in space. Now I have my answer – they do come up with useful things, don’t they? Now, I wouldn’t even dream of going to space and needing (not merely wanting) a zero-G cup but it would really be cool to have one to add to my collection. 😉