Footage of astronauts sipping liquids through a straw-embedded vacuum-sealed pouch isn't anything new.
But thanks to a new experiment, astronauts may no longer need to reach for those packets nor straws, altogether, when they're thirsty. NASA is reporting that it has teamed up with engineers from IRPI to introduce Space Cups, which allow them to drink beverages from a glass in orbit as they normally would on ground.
The Space Cups are currently being used and tested by astronauts aboard the International Space Station, as part of the Capillary Beverage Experiment. NASA cites the Space Cups use of surface tension and their geometry as reasons why the liquid they're containing doesn't float away.
In two accompanying videos, U.S. astronauts are seen drinking coffee from the Space Cups. In fact, famed astronaut Scott Kelly manages to drink coffee in one fluid sip without any of the beverage escaping its container.
"Astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren enjoy drinks from Space Cups in the galley of the International Space Station during Increment 44/45," an IRPI caption, accompanying one of the videos, reads on YouTube. "The cups permit a drinking experience 'eerily like that on earth', only the role of gravity is replaced by that of surface tension. Toasts, cup tosses, hands-free, and flips while drinking are observed that demonstrate the stability of the hot liquids contained in the cups."
To further show their effectiveness, the second clip shows two astronauts floating and still being able to drink out of the Space Cups without any liquid spilling out.
It's already a pretty amazing sight, but it will be interesting to see how much NASA and IRPI can further bolster this experiment.