A coffee producer, engineering company and space agency have come together to give astronauts an Italian taste of home aboard the International Space Station.
“ISSpresso,” a joint effort by Italian coffee company Lavazza, engineering firm Argotec and Italian space agency ASI will let astronauts enjoy non-instant coffee in space for the first time.
“Food provides an important psychological support,” Argotec Managing Director David Avino said about the psychological benefits of an espresso machine for the stars. “And being able to enjoy a good Italian espresso may be just the right way to finish off the menu designed especially for each astronaut, helping him or her to feel closer to home.”
The engineers had to address a host of challenges to make fresh coffee in zero gravity, including replacing plastic water tubing with steel tubing for function in extreme high pressure.
Astronauts will also be able to make tea and broth aboard the ISS with the machine, and European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti will try the first shot in November.