Say if you were working aboard the ISS, what is that you would miss the most during long work hours? Will you miss having gravity or your coffee? The Italian astronaut, Samantha Cristoforetti opted for coffee and reportedly, she will be travelling to ISS with a coffee machine that has been modified by Lavazza – an Italian firm.
The drawback, obvious one, is the fact that no matter what kind of coffee you are having, you will be sipping it out of a pouch via a straw since you can’t risk spilling the contents in space. Lavazza has worked with Italian Space Agency in collaboration with Argotec – the company that has been providing space food to the European Space Agency – with the sole purpose of providing the ISS with a coffee machine.
The modifications that have been made include changing the plastic tube to metal one that was used to water the machine since it needs to be capable of resisting about 400 bars of pressure. For comparison’s sake, if an elephant stepped on your toe, you will experience about 0.54 of a bar worth pressure.
New aspiration and pressurization methodologies have been innovated and made compatible for space. Apart from these modifications, the coffee machine is more or less the same thing; just place the capsule at the top, flip the catch, push the button and make sure that the plastic pouch is under the nozzle. As expected, a survey of former ISS residents revealed that one of the most missed home comforts was the morning coffee.
The machine has been named as ISSpresso and according to the company, ISSpresso will bring you ‘Coffee in the space.’ Check out the youtube video below for more details: