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To Boldly Go Where No Coffee Has Gone Before

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Is it a bird? … No.


Is it a plane? … No.


Is it an espresso machine… Yes!


Over the course of the last 50 years, we have sent many weird and wonderful objects into outer space.


From monkeys, teddy bears and Bonsai trees to sex dolls (true story – she was named Missy), hamburgers, and even a bobblehead doll of Breaking Bad character Walter White, we must seem an extremely strange species to any extraterrestrials overseeing us from afar.


And now, for the first time in history, we are on the cusp of sending arguably man’s finest invention into orbit… the espresso machine.


Indeed, the next delivery to International Space Station (ISS), which is a habitable artificial satellite orbiting Earth, will include a high-tech espresso machine… which will surely please those coffee-starved astronauts no end!


This new coffee maker, which is being dubbed the ISSPresso Machine (get it?), will, if all goes according to plan, be launched into outer space to day (that’s Monday April 13, 2015).


isspresso-pouch.jpg


So long as whether permits, the espresso machine will be loaded this afternoon onto the SpaceX supply ship, along with scientific research equipment and over 1,800 kilograms of food.


Coffee addicts on board the International Space Station will be awaiting this delivery with baited breath, since the ISSPresso Machine was meant to be delivered at the end of 2014 – however it was destroyed when the Orbital Sciences Antares supply rocket it was being carried on exploded.


This high-spec coffee maker is the rest of a combined effort from Lavazza, engineering firm Argotec and the Italian Space Agency.


It was designed for use by Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti who has been aboard the International Space Station since November 2014.


So, you might ask, how does it work?


Well, a series of modifications have been implemented to allow the machine to make a decent cup of coffee despite microgravity.


For instance, the steam pipe, which is made from plastic and only needs to withstand a mere 9bar of pressure on Earth, has been replaced with a steel version that can handle around 400bar of pressure.


However, astronauts aboard the ISS will have to enjoy their coffees through a straw, as rather than delivering freshly brewed coffee into a cup, the ISSPresso pours into a small pouch not unlike a saline bag.


What do you think about this latest invention?


If you were to become an astronaut would you miss your daily Cafe2U coffee fix from our various vans and shops?


Make sure you get in touch with us here at the Cafe2U Blog with your comments – we love hearing what our readers have to say!


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