Caffeine-loving astronauts are set to be able to get a tastier fix than before thanks to the arrival of a microgravity espresso maker on the ISS. In a move which spells the end of freeze-dried instant coffee in space, the machine arrived thanks to a delivery carried out by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, writes Ian O’Neill for Discovery.
ISS gets kitted out
Now the astronauts will be able to make hot, fresh coffee in space using a machine manufactured by Italian coffee company Lavazza, engineering firm Argotec and the Italian Space Agency. The ISSPresso was first shown off last year, and upon its arrival the machine will be strapped to the interior wall using bungee ropes.
NASA’s Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko will benefit greatly from the new machine, having just arrived on the ISS, where they will spend the next year.
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A previous article published on SPACE.com stated that the machine has a brewing temperate of 75 degrees Celsius and is capable of replicating the water pressure of a terrestrial espresso machine. Lavazza wll continually make deliveries of coffee capsules so that astronauts can always get their caffeine hit.
SpaceX takes over from Orbital Sciences
Lavazza predicts that the machine will operate for a few years on board the ISS. Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti will have the honor of being the first person to try the space station’s brand new coffee machine.
The ISSPresso was originally going to be delivered to the ISS by the Orbital Sciences Cygnus resupply vehicle, but an explosion at a planned launch in October restricted Orbital’s access to space. SpaceX took over the remainder of the company’s resupply missions.
The SpaceX Dragon capsule launched today, April 13, at 4.33 p.m. EDT. The successful launch took place from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.. As well as taking the ISSPresso to the space station, the mission delivered 2,015 kilograms of food and supplies.
After breaking away from the Dragon capsule, the Falcon 9 first stage returned to Earth, making a third attempt to land on a floating barge in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The module landed on the waiting drone ship, but landed too hard to survive the impact.