Some Italians say life is not worth living without a good cup of espresso every day, so Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti was especially excited when Elon Musk’s SpaceX supply ship delivered a specially designed espresso machine, coffee, groceries, experiments and equipment to the International Space Station.
NASA announced on Friday morning that the SpaceX Dragon capsule had arrived at the ISS just three days after its Florida launch. The capsule with its cargo carrier containing a 400-lb load was recovered with the assistance of a giant robot arm.
As noted in an article in The New York Times, Italy provided the espresso maker for Captain Cristoforetti and the rest of the ISS crew, who’ve only had instant coffee to drink since the mission started back in November.
“It’s been just amazing,” Cristoforetti said after snaring the supply ship and reeling it in. “Lots of science and even coffee’s in there, so that’s pretty exciting.”
Of note, the espresso machine is actually almost three months late because of the loss of a supply ship in a launch accident late last year. If the supply mission had been delayed much longer, Cristoforetti, who comes back to Earth in late May, would have missed out on the espresso machine. She expressed great enthusiasm about the opportunity to try some space espresso.
More on SpaceX delivery to International Space Station
The ISS crew is very efficient. Just two and a half hours after it was snagged by the robot arm, the supply capsule was safely bolted to the space station.
NASA notes that the Dragon will stay at the orbiting lab until May 21st. Then it will be launched full of experiments and discarded equipment to return to Earth. Experts point out that the SpaceX Dragon is the only supply ship capable of bringing items back to Earth.
Among the items delivered by Dragon are experiments for astronaut Scott Kelly, who is only around a month into a record long one-year mission on the ISS.