Updates Fridays

It’s the little things that restore my faith in humanity

Do you remember when I wrote that post about designing cups that would allow astronauts to sip espresso in microgravity? Well, it’s officially no longer a purely theoretical design challenge. It’s a real thing. Astronauts are drinking espresso in space.

 Samantha Cristoforetti drinks espresso on the ISS
(Photo via ESA)

This is Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti enjoying the view with her morning (or something: time is weird in space) espresso.

And do you know what my favorite part of this whole thing is? Look at what she’s wearing. THAT’S A STAR TREK UNIFORM!!!

I can’t even handle how cool this is. I mean, think about how precious every inch of space and every ounce of weight is on a space shuttle. At some point, someone important was reviewing one a carefully planned cargo manifest and saw a line item that said something like “Star Trek Uniform.” They must have said to themselves, “Oh, yeah, that seems legit. I can totally see that as a necessity.”

Or better yet, maybe they said “Wait, which series? Next Generation? Okay, but only if it’s the captain’s uniform with the zipper, not the early one that always rides up.”

I’m just speculating here, but seriously, given how much thought goes into every shuttle launch, something like this probably happened.

I just freaking love this. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but to me it seems like a nod to the fact that stories like Star Trek genuinely inspire humanity to reach for the stars, to make something better out of our world. It’s admitting that while progress and achievement are important, but so is the fun and the play and the dreaming that is the spark at the heart of all great endeavors. And it’s saying that you don’t have to take yourself or your life too seriously to achieve great things.

I don’t know, maybe I’m reaching here.

Reaching for the stars that is!