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Drinking in space (zero g)

  1. Dec 11, 2006 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    an astronaut inside the shuttle is trying to drink from his smuggled two liter, non-carbonated soft drink bottle through a straw. what does the astronaut have to do to get a drink?

    3. The attempt at a solution

    this seems kindof a trick question, because I dont see how gravity has anything to do with sucking through a straw, inside the straw becomes a vaccum anyway right?. Wouldnt it be no different than here on earth?
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 11, 2006 #2


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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    In zero gravity, liquid water will form large drops. As long as there is air pressure surrounding the drop, the straw can be inserted into a drop and the water can be sucked through the straw. If there were no air pressure on the drop, that would be impossible.

    Check out this video of "eating" tea in zero g.

  4. Dec 11, 2006 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    I would think that the astronaut would have to do something special where the straw goes through the neck of the bottle. At least if s/he doesn't want to make a mess!
  5. Dec 11, 2006 #4


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    Gold Member

    It seems to me, the problems have to do with:

    - what would push down on the surface of the liquid inside the bottle. Air pressure would, but gravity wouldn't.

    - lack of gravity would also mean you couldn't simply place the straw at the bottom of the bottle. You'd have to continually "fish" to get the straw inside a floating drop of soda.
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