Astronaut shows how coffee is made aboard the ISS

Shane McGlaun - Jan 19, 2016
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Astronaut shows how coffee is made aboard the ISS

Doing the simple and mundane things we do every morning here on Earth takes on a completely new challenge in space. The challenge in microgravity is that things just don’t work the same way they do here on Earth in normal gravity. For instance making a simple cup of coffee becomes a complex process that requires specially engineered systems.

Astronaut Tim Peake shows how coffee is made aboard the ISS. The process starts by digging a foil packet out of a storage container on the walls of the ISS. Since things just float around in microgravity, you can't simply have shelves or cupboards for your food and drinks to sit on.

In space, you also can’t simply put water into a cup, in microgravity water turns in to floating globes rather than sitting in a cup waiting for you to drink it as it does on Earth. The coffee maker on the ISS is actually a hot water injection system.

The astronaut places the foil packet that looks sort of like a Capri Sun into the hot water machine and water is then injected into the foil packet. The water dissolves the presumably freeze dried coffee, cream, and sugar substitute and the astronaut then drinks the coffee from a straw with a one-way valve built in to keep fluid from escaping.