Just because you’re orbiting earth shouldn’t mean you can’t get a decent cup of coffee or espresso, and astronauts aboard The International Space Station agree. The astronauts have spoken, and they ultimately have been heard. After complaining about the dull instant coffee in pouches with straws served on board (naturally), the astronauts will now be getting their very own, albeit specially-designed espresso machine, reported the Pocono Record on June 29, 2014.
Apparently astronauts of all nationalities were complaining about this matter, but one Italian in particular just couldn’t get it out of his mind. Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano repeatedly talked about missing espresso during his 5½-month stay on the space station last year.
How did this all come together? Turin-based engineering company, Argotec and the Italian Space Agency had partnered with Italy’s coffee maestro Lavazza to improve coffee conditions aboard the station and provide the espresso machine to astronauts.
The espresso machine named ISSpress (ISS for International Space Station), is described as a unique machine that has been specially designed to allow astronauts to get a hot brewing cup of coffee in space. The temperature and pressure of ISSpresso will be equivalent to espresso makers hailing from earth, and astronauts will therefore get the same quality coffee that they would if they were sipping an espresso in an Italian café on Earth.
Besides making coffee, ISSpresso can also make tea and consommé. Argotec spokesman Antonio Pilello notes the importance of one’s caffeine and wrote in an e-mail, “You know, coffee is very important for Italian people. We are really hard to please about it!” The machine will be sent to space from Wallops Island, Va next year.
The launching is timed to concur with the six-month mission of Italy’s first female astronaut, Samantha Cristoforetti. The 37-year-old fighter pilot and Italian Air Force captain will fly to the space station in November via a Russian capsule. According to the Delhidailynews.com, Cristoforetti has tweeted and expressed excitement over getting the opportunity to operate the first space espresso machine.