Omsi Science Pub Liquids In Space

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McMenamins Mission Theater says
Drinking in Space: Portland Coffee Cups for International Astronauts

With Mark Weislogel, PhD, Professor of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Portland State University and Senior Scientist at IRPI LLC

Doors Open @ 5PM | $5 Suggested Donation

There are as many as 50 different drinks available to astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Beer is not one of them. But coffee is. Understandably, the coffee is sucked through straws inserted into sealed bags. But wouldn’t it be more pleasurable to sip from a cup, sensing the warmth and aromatics, and chilling from the pressure of the day with co-workers a little like back on earth? Believe it or not, this isn’t easy to do. The problem is the lack of gravity(!) and its impact on the whole process of drinking.

In this presentation we tell the story of the Space Cups which were designed at IRPI LLC in Wilsonville in collaboration with NASA, demonstrated in the low-gravity drop tower at Portland State University, launched to the Space Station on a Space-X rocket, and enjoyed by the astronauts aboard the International Space Station. We will present fun video of astronaut antics while drinking in the galley of the Space Station, but also the deeper story of microgravity capillary fluidics research that undergirds our work and illuminates a direction for the design of advanced spacecraft for the more demanding exploration missions of the future.

Weislogel is a Senior Scientist at IRPI LLC and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Portland State University. His work focuses on capillary flows and phenomena which are visually arresting when the influence of gravity is small. He has conducted extensive research using drop towers, low-g aircraft, Space Shuttles, the Russian Mir Space Station, and the International Space Station. He will present a collection of both entertaining and educational fluidic phenomena first observed by him and co-workers that inspire unearthly designs for spacecraft fluid systems such as fuel tanks, cooling systems, water processing equipment, plant and animal habitats, and more.
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By: McMenamins Mission Theater

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