Italian astronauts 'space-ify' coffee maker for use aboard ISS

"Today we are in a position to overcome the limits of weightlessness and enjoy a good espresso," said Giuseppe Lavazza.
By Brooks Hays  |  June 16, 2014 at 2:46 PM
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ROME, June 16 (UPI) -- Italians can't live without their espresso. That's why they're bringing a coffee maker with them on their next mission to the International Space Station.

Coffee-tech companies Lavazza and Argotec have teamed with the Italian Space Agency to build a coffee maker capable of pumping out cappuccinos in zero-gravity. Italian astronauts will bring the cleverly named "ISSpresso," a capsule-based espresso machine, with them on their next trip to the space station.

The machine features a near-indestructible steel tube that can withstand pressures of 400 bar. The tube helps ISSpresso brew not just double-shots but also tea, infusions, caffe lungos and broths of all kinds. It will also be used to rehydrate foods.

"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," said Giuseppe Lavazza, vice president of Lavazza.

The machine, Lavazza said, won't just be a place to perk up, but -- like the coffee houses along the piazzas of Rome -- a place for socializing.

He said: "[The ISSpresso will be] a venue for getting together, chatting and relaxing: an aspect that should not be ignored in missions that keep the astronauts away from home for many months in a challenging environment."

The ISSpresso will travel along with astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, set to be the first Italian woman in space, when Italy launches its next ISS mission, "Futura," in November.

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