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Sidewinder: Pneumatic Cocktail Mixing Device

Published onMay 18, 2020
Sidewinder: Pneumatic Cocktail Mixing Device

Clips of astronauts playing with liquids and demonstrating mixing in an open, zero-gravity environment show the production of droplets and mists which float off in various directions.

At scale, perhaps in a recreational environment, this would create hazardous and unsanitary conditions.

The pneumatic device presented is designed to aid mixing ingredients, namely spirits, in a controlled fashion. It also assumes before there are interplanetary bartenders, there will be astronauts retrofitting existing materials and parts as a transitional solution. 

 The tool is a 1/8'' thick polycarbonate cylinder with two chambers separated by a rubber seal. At the top of the cylinder is an air valve and trigger, which accepts 8-12oz CO2 cartridges(like those used in pastrymaking). Pressing the trigger releases CO2 into chamber one. As pressure increases, the seal, mounted in place by two ball bearings on stainless steel dowels, begins to move and exert pressure on chamber two. Chamber two houses all the spirits and ingredients for mixing, and is fed through a Luer connector. 

As pressure continues to be applied to chamber two, the solution is forced through the hose and attached fluidic chip for even mixing. The hose is intended to extend the reach of the device.

An ongoing pursuit will be figuring out how to create a vacuum in chamber one to reset the seal. Maybe a small release valve + pump is also designed into the trigger.

 Or perhaps pressure generated from the cleaning+rinsing process can be used. By forcing water through the Luer attachment and the end connecting to the fluidic chip, the water pressure might be used to reset the seal to an initial position. 

This also assumes there are tools to clean this tool. This may be one element of a larger toolset.

notes for above statement: 

Sidewinder is a working term for administrative purposes but comes from the silhouette of the design, which looks like a rattlesnake.
For serving, I imagine the head of the Sidewinder feeding into refrigerated agar or water gel pouches for sipping, or injected directly into an edible orb with the syringe for “shots”


 An alternate design imagines a stepper motor auger with a seal, but speculating a use for accumulated CO2 in space drove this design- which also assumes there will be devices for collecting and compressing CO2 into little canisters.

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