Meet ISSpresso, The Lavazza Espresso Machine Designed For Astronauts
Astronauts aboard the International Space Station get to see and do things most of us earthlings will never experience. But being in space has it drawbacks — like a serious lack of decent coffee. Fortunately, the ISS is about to get ISSpresso, a Lavazza espresso machine specially designed for astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Lavazza has teamed up with Argotec, an engineering firm that supplies food products to the ISS, to develop ISSpresso, a machine capable of steaming tea, coffee and espresso. It's a beautiful, beautiful thing.
Lavazza Vice President Giuseppe Lavazza said in a promotional video that this machine will provide "real coffee, that which one drinks in a cafe. Good, hot, and steaming." That should satisfy Italian astronauts like Luca Parmitano, who says a good cup of espresso is what's lacking from the ISS.
So how is this machine able to withstand the conditions in space? A Lavazza machine is being outfitted with special steel tubing that can withstand the pressure in space. The ISS has a reservoir system, and water from the reservoir will be placed in a plastic package, heated, combined with a capsule of espresso, and filtered into a pouch with a straw. It's like drinking coffee from a Capri Sun pouch.
Right now, Samantha Cristoforetti, an Italian astronaut, is scheduled to go to the ISS this November, and become the first Italian woman in space. Her colleagues on the ISS are likely happy with this news, since she'll also be bringing the ISSpresso with her, and will be the first one to enjoy an espresso aboard.
In a press release, Argotec stated:
The machine is so complex that it weighs about 20 kilograms since there are back-ups of all the critical components for safety reasons in accordance with the specifications agreed upon with the Italian Space Agency.
For now, the ISSpresso is being tested by Argotec before it's placed aboard Cristoforetti's flight to the ISS via Futura Mission Crew and the Italian Space Agency.