Samantha Cristoforetti, Italy’s first woman to go into space, will join the other astronauts on the International Space Station in November. To mark this important event, Italian coffee brand Lavazza will offer said astronauts the ISSpresso, the world’s first coffee machine meant specifically to be used in space.
This seems to be a series of firsts for Italy, and it’s a good thing that such a renowned company as Lavazza has decided to promote the launch of the Italian woman astronaut. Lavazza ISSpresso will be the main character in ISS’ Space Cafe, and while at first sight it may not look very different from earthly coffee machines, it incorporates some of the latest technology to make it suitable for such an environment.
Besides espresso and cafe lungo (long coffee), this capsule machine is able to brew a few other hot beverages, including infusions, broth, and most importantly, tea. According to the Italian coffee brand, drinking coffee is among the main things the ISS astronauts missed while being off the planet. Well, whatever British or Canadian astronauts may be out there, they certainly miss their five o’clock tea more than a mug of coffee.
Lavazza developed the ISSpresso coffee machine with the help of Argotec, while also strictly respecting NASA’s requirements. It wouldn’t be a mistake to state that ISSpresso is the world’s most advanced espresso machine, as it can successfully withstand pressures of 400 bar.
When it comes to food and beverages, astronauts have a very strict regime while in their home away from home. If you’re curious about what astronauts are allowed to eat or drink, there are plenty of websites, either official or made by enthusiasts, detailing such aspects. Besides, it’s important to remember that due to its limited availability up there, water needs to be recycled. In other words, this morning’s coffee will turn into tonight’s bodily fluid, which in turn is transformed in tomorrow morning’s espresso. It may sound unhygienic, but the water is thoroughly filtered until it becomes pure and hence, safe to drink.
Germans already dream of having drafted beer on the ISS, but that might take a bit more engineering than this capsule-based espresso machine made by Argotec and Lavazza. Having a real bar up there wouldn’t be a bad idea, but it might distract astronauts from their duties.
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