Italian Coffee in Space: ISSpresso Machine to Travel to International Space Station

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 06:10

The first coffee machine to deliver real espresso in space may soon become a reality, thanks to a joint venture between Italian aerospace company Argotec and Italian coffee maker Lavazza.

The concept behind the ISSpresso, scheduled to travel to the International Space Station in November, is the same as regular coffee brewing machines; however, zero-gravity made designing it more complicated, having to take into account the different dynamics of liquids in absence of gravity. Currently, drinks on the ISS, including coffee, are made using dry powders mixed with water. The new machine on the other hand would produce good, hot, steamy coffee and espresso.

If all engineering and safety tests on the machine go well, the ISSpresso will join the Italian Space Agency’s Futura Mission on the ISS this November. And there will even be an Italian to taste the first “space espresso”: Samatha Cristoforetti, the first female Italian astronaut to travel to the ISS.

Cristoforetti was pretty excited about the prospect of real coffee in space, as she tweeted: “How cool is that? During #Futura42 I’ll get to operate the first space espresso machine!”

While Giuseppe Lavazza, the vice president of Lavazza, said: “We have been thinking about taking the espresso into space for some time. Italian coffee is a beverage without borders.”

Indeed. Because even astronauts need a good cup of coffee in the morning.

Learn how the idea for ISSpresso came about:

Additional photographs and information about the cooperation between Lavazza, Argotec and the Italian Space Agency can be found here.