Espresso, Italy’s gift to the universe, will soon be coming to space.
Astronauts aboard the International Space Station will have authentic Italian espresso to enjoy during their orbits around Earth later this year, thanks to the 119-year-old espresso company Lavazza and the aerospace engineering company Argotec.
The companies paired up to address a gaping hole in the quality of life for the hardworking ISS astronauts with the creation of … ISSpresso. (Get it?)
The ISSpresso machine is a 44-pound miracle that replaces the plastic tools that would normally carry water in an earthly espresso machine with a steel tube that can withstand pressures of 400 bar. Years of research and development produced a coffeemaker that can function in 0G (zero gravity). It is also capable of producing tea, infusions, caffe lungos and broths that can be used to rehydrate foods in space.
“Italian coffee is a beverage without borders and we have been thinking about taking the espresso into space for some time,” Giuseppe Lavazza, vice president of Lavazza, said in a statement. “In fact, today we are in a position to overcome the limits of weightlessness and enjoy a good espresso — the indisputable symbol of made in Italy products — on board the International Space Station.”
Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, who will be Italy’s first woman in space, will bring the device to the ISS during Italy’s next long-term space mission, “Futura,” in November.
The machine is intended to be a “corner cafe” around which astronauts can socialize — an important feature considering that their missions “keep the astronauts away from home for many months in a very challenging environment,” according to Lavazza.
Here is a video about the ISSpresso machine: