Ballantine’s commissioned the Open Space Agency, a collective of space designers, to create the glass in preparation for its anticipation of increased space tourism in the future. The Space Glass was tested at the ZARM Zero-G Drop Tower in Bremen, Germany, to prove its functionality in conditions similar to that of space.
While this is the first glass designed for swigging Scotch in space, samples of the drink itself have already been sent into orbit.
Ballatine’s poured an incredibly amount of time and vision into coming up with the Space Glass, studying everything from the ways various liquids behave in microgravity to the special distilling process necessary on Earth to further accentuate the smells and flavors.
In the meantime, the company is working on perfecting a whisky blend fit for space, where taste buds change, like they do during air travel. “This meant I had to make the Ballantine’s Space Whisky more heightened in flavor and robust whilst maintaining the Ballantine’s signature style”.
The glass’ design is a more or less classic tumbler shape but is equipped with several components that make it suitable for microgravity environments.
“Our brief was to develop a whisky glass that worked under the conditions of microgravity, the scientific term for zero gravity”, says Parr. Well, there’s a convex steel base plate coated with rose gold, which provides a large enough surface tension to hold the whiskey in place and prevent it from disappearing into your surroundings in giant blobs.
Ballantine’s have also taken care of pouring problems, using an extremely strong set of magnets to connect the glass with a special nozzle that uses a one-way valve.
The glass’ rose gold accents were also chosen for a number of reasons, both practical and aesthetic. Fortunately, this glass provides a way to sip the stuff en route to the stars. James Parr wanted the Ballantine’s Space Glass to be a part of this 3D printing development and hopes that one-day astronauts will be able to print the glasses for themselves in space. Alcohol is prohibited aboard the global Space Station, but the glass could still be tested with non-alcoholic liquids.
As Ballantine’s notes, though it may be awhile before we can all enjoy our glass of whiskey in space, they will be making the glasses available here on earth, though they are not yet retail ready.