Italians to send ISSpresso machine to ISS

Jun 16, 2014 by Bob Yirka report

(Phys.org) —A pair of Italian companies in cooperation with the Italian Space Agency (ISA) has announced plans to send an espresso machine to the International Space Station, (they're calling it the ISSpresso machine) allowing astronauts to sip hot drinks while conducting research. Lavazza, a well known maker of espresso machines has joined forces with Italian aerospace engineering company Argotec to design an espresso machine capable of withstanding the rigors of space travel—one that can also dispense the liquid in a way that allows astronauts in low gravity to drink products without making a mess aboard the space station.

Representatives for Lavazza told the press that the company has been working on the idea of a ready espresso machine for several years. The news that the two companies are near to actually completing such an assignment comes not long after comments made by Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano bemoaning the lack of espresso while aboard the ISS, last year. The new machine will use a capsule system (instead of a full ground system) and will be capable of making not just espresso, but several other hot beverages including caffè lungo and coffee. The company notes that the plastic tube that usually conveys hot water inside a normal espresso machine has been replaced by steel tube, making the unit capable of withstanding very high pressure. They also added multiple redundant systems (and likely resistance to vibration) to ensure continued service for many years to come. The changes have meant increased weight however—it's expected the final machine will be approximately 20 kilograms. The liquid product made by the machine is dispensed into a plastic bag—the astronaut will be able to enjoy his or her beverage by sipping it through a straw.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

The ISSpresso is still undergoing testing but engineers on the project fully expect it to be ready for launch this November as part of a long-term mission by the ISA. The same mission will also include Samantha Cristoforetti, the first Italian women to be sent into space, and perhaps the first on the ISS to enjoy the pleasure that only a good espresso can bring.

Explore further: Liquid crystal bubble OASIS in space

Related Stories

At last a machine with good taste -- for espresso

Feb 11, 2008

Can a machine taste coffee? The question has plagued scientists studying the caffeinated beverage for decades. Fortunately, researchers in Switzerland can now answer with a resounding “yes.” The study on their coffee-tasting ...

Croatian pupils mark EU entry with astronaut chat

Jun 26, 2013

A group of pupils at a Zagreb high school on Wednesday marked their country's July 1 entry into the European Union by talking to an astronaut at the International Space Station (ISS).

Huffington Post launches Italian edition

Sep 25, 2012

US news website The Huffington Post launched its Italian edition "L'Huffington Post" on Tuesday as part of an international expansion that has has already taken it to Britain, Canada, France and Spain.

Harry and David recall espresso beans

Apr 07, 2008

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced the recall of approximately 66,500 bags of Harry and David-brand espresso beans due to a labeling error.

NASA sees 'some success' with space station fix

Dec 16, 2013

NASA engineers are still trying to fix an International Space Station cooling problem and have not yet decided whether spacewalks will be necessary, the US space agency said Monday.

Recommended for you

Radio silence as Russia tries to contact space cargo

28 minutes ago

Russia will try again in the coming hours to make contact with an unmanned cargo ship after communications were lost following the spacecraft's launch toward the International Space Station, NASA said Tuesday.

Strong evidence for coronal heating theory presented

3 hours ago

The Sun's surface is blisteringly hot at 6,000 kelvins or 10,340 degrees Fahrenheit—but its atmosphere is another 300 times hotter. This has led to an enduring mystery for those who study the Sun: What ...

The view from up there, down here

6 hours ago

When many people saw the first stunning photos of the fragile blue marble of Earth from space, it changed their outlook of humanity. It was a singular moment in time when people around the world were watching ...

The weird ways fire behaves in space (w/ Video)

8 hours ago

Light a match on earth and you can expect the flame to shoot up in a tapering bulb. But light that match in space and you might not even recognize the small, blue orb at the tip. That's because fire behaves ...

Russia loses comms with ISS cargo spacecraft (Update)

10 hours ago

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station were left with a long wait Tuesday to get their latest food and fuel deliveries after an unmanned Russian supply ship lost communications following takeoff.

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

ivo_dekeijzer
5 / 5 (1) Jun 16, 2014
Very cool. Espresso in space. We humans are really setting the first steps towards permanent space settlement.
Shootist
5 / 5 (1) Jun 16, 2014
I was going to go all, "water can't get hot enough to make coffee in the low atmospheric pressure about the ISS". But according to wiki the station maintains 29.91 inches of mercury (101.3 Kpal). Hell, even passenger aircraft lower stresses on the airframe by reducing interior air pressure.

I learned something unexpected today.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.