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Italian Companies Make an Espresso Machine That Can Be Used in Space

Thursday, January 15, 2015
mobile espresso business

If you have spent any time searching for successful business ideas, you have likely realized that coffee franchises are big business: Business Insider recently reported that the coffee industry is worth an estimated $100 billion US dollars worldwide, making it second only to crude oil in terms of heavily-sought items. Mobile cafes are becoming especially popular in this thriving industry. In fact, the option of getting espresso coffee anywhere you go is so appealing that an Italian company has designed an espresso machine to use in space. Can you imagine ordering a flat white from a mobile espresso business in space one day?

To help Italian astronauts make their famous beverage, Turin-based companies Lagazza, a coffee maker, and Argotec, a space food maker, teamed up to make an espresso team that would work in zero gravity. To work safely in space, their product would have to meet a number of requirements: among other stipulations, the espresso machine could not leak any of its espresso grounds or hot water and coffee, and would also have to meet the standards of the International Space Station (ISS). After a lot of planning, the companies created the ISSpresso machine -- named after the space station -- which forces water through a small container of coffee. The concept is similar to espresso machines on Earth, which filter hot water through a container of grounds. By literally forcing the water through the coffee, however, the equipment is able to make espresso without gravity. The ISSpresso can also make tea and clear soup.

While the companies say the project began as a technology experiment, NASA has reportedly expressed interest in bringing an ISSpresso machine into orbit. Currently, plans are in place to send the device into space in April, making it available to the astronauts at the station. However, this development could also benefit future space travelers, especially if mankind ever realizes its distant dream of life on other planets. Perhaps one day you'll drink an espresso while watching a sunrise on Mars. Or maybe you'll even find yourself selling coffee with mobile espresso business that travels the galaxy. Now that we have the option of making lattes in space, entrepreneurs in the coffee industry can start dreaming big.

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