Jun 12, 2014

Liquids do funny things in space. In a low-gravity environment, food and drinks would simply float away if they weren't handled correctly. In the past drinks were packaged as dehydrated powders, but that was regarded as inedible.

Nowadays astronauts are able to eat fairly normal food with the aid of several packaging tricks. Some folks from Cosmic Lifestyle Corporation, a design and branding company, have even developed a martini glass that allows you to stip your drink in space.

Their Zero Gravity Cocktail Project aims to make a cocktail glass suitable for drinking fluids in zero gravity. The glass relies on capillary action to move liquid from one point to another. The glass has bulbous base with a hollow stem for holding the liquids. All you have to do is start sipping from the edge of the glass and channels start guiding the fluid from stem to rim. The hole in the bottom allows you to refill the glass in zero gravity.

The first prototype models have been 3D printed, which is a combination of the aesthetic of a traditional cocktail glass with the unique properties of weightlessness. In the near future the team will also create prototypes in other materials, such as biocompatible plastic, glass or stainless steel.

The system also incorporates a mechanized "Drinkbot," which mixes liquids in weightlessness and dispenses the cocktail into the Zero Gravity Cocktail Glass. The cocktail recipe is currently being designed, and the "Drinkbot" is under construction.

"The Zero Gravity Cocktail Project is an attempt to bridge the gap between the space tourism vision and mainstream reality," says founder, space tourism futurist, and visionary Samuel Coniglio. "By creating a fun object that appeals to many people, we hope to show that space tourism is not an abstract concept but a stepping stone for improving the way people live, work, and play beyond planet Earth."

"Space tourism is no longer a fantasy, it's an industry," states co-founder and bar industry entrepreneur Russell Davis. "With over 2 years of hard work, the team recognizes that there is a need for the "space tourists" to have practical applications in zero gravity that are based upon enjoyment AND functionality. We plan on filling that niche, with the first being the cocktail, the vessel, and the ability to mix in space."

Check out the video below that NASA astronaut Don Pettit demonstrated drinking space beverages in 2008. Don Pettit devised a cup that took advantage of its special shape and surface tension and made it perfect for use in microgravity.

Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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