The International Space Station (ISS), the habitable artificial satellite currently floating in low Earth orbit, is seemingly transitioning from a research laboratory to a homey sanctuary – albeit the microgravity conditions. Just this year, Samantha Cristoforetti, the first Italian female astronaut to venture out into orbit, was able to taste the first cup of space espresso. Scott Kelly also bragged about his bedroom from space, posting the following tweet:
Following that event, Suntory, the world-famous Japanese distillery, sent whiskey to be aged and tested in space. It’s only natural then that, Ballantine, the liquor company, is introducing a whiskey glass that might allow celestial drinkers to sip away without having to resort to straws.
ENJOY DRINKS IN STYLE WITH BALLATINE’S WHISKEY GLASS
The Open Space Agency (OSA) is comprised of “a collection of space enthusiasts that engage in a number of space projects.” OSA’s James Parr, the creator of a Lumia-powdered 3D-printer, designed the high-tech whiskey glass after being commissioned to do so by Ballantine. The resulting creation is a engineering marvel space enthusiasts are sure to appreciate.
To come up with a viable and functioning whiskey glass, Parr had to juggle with a few ideas. The final design features a rounded cup with a spiral convex stainless steel base that’s plated in 3D-printed rose gold. The gold, combined with the spiral, is necessary in order to increase the surface tension needed to hold the whiskey at the bottom of the glass (which is actually 3D-printed plastic). Its base also holds a 22-pound magnet to allow it to stick to magnetic surfaces and prevent it from floating away.
To control the flow of liquid and contain the drink, a dome covers the top of the glass. In addition, the spiral helix winds up its sides, to deliver the whiskey to the gold plated mouthpiece, where it will stay until someone takes a sip from it.
But what about getting the actual beverage into the cup? According to CNET, the base of the glass is fitted with a one-way value that connects to a custom nozzle fitted for a whiskey bottle.
Although alcohol is currently prohibited in space, the team has already tested the innovation at the Zarm Drop Tower in Germany. If the glass does eventually find its way up to the ISS, it would probably be used to consume nonalcoholic drinks – at least for the time being. In the meantime, the final product would make for a great conservation starter or table piece.
Check out the glass in action in this video.