NASA has patented and developed a drink receptacle that contains a sharp interior corner on one side.

Without gravity, it’s almost impossible to predict how a liquid will behave, and difficult to get a liquid inside a cup and control it when pouring. To develop a better understanding of fluids in microgravity, a Capillary Flow Experiment is being conducted onboard the International Space Station.

If two solid surfaces meet at a narrow-enough angle, fluids in microgravity naturally flow along the join, with no pumping required. As a result of their work, Physics professor Mark Weislogel of Portland State University and his colleagues have been granted a patent for a Zero Gravity Coffee Cup.

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