The International Space Station is just like any other office, except that there aren’t crowded cubicles and the employees are 10 times cooler and smarter than that smug Billy from HR. And just like any other workplace, the ISS also has its own pressing corporate concerns, like “how are we going to pursue space missions without sufficient budget and support”, or “when are we getting that espresso machine already?”
For years, astronauts aboard the biggest artificial satellite in the solar system have been clamoring for their very own espresso machine, and fortunately, after years of heated negotiations, the ISS is finally getting it – their very own ISSpresso machine!
Italian coffee giant Lavazza teamed up with an engineering company named Argotec to pursue the project. This is in response to the great demand for better coffee aboard the ISS, where generic coffee packets are currently being served to our brave astronauts. The project coincides with the appointment of the first Italian female astronaut, Samantha Cristoforetti. Upon learning about the coffee improvements on the station, Samantha eagerly tweeted: “How cool is that?” Other astronauts who have come and gone to the ISS expressed their joy over the “welcome addition” to the ISS, according to The Guardian.
Argotec spokesperson Antonio Pilello says the installment of the espresso machine is a great and vital improvement in the ISS, especially for Italian astronauts on board, who are craving for their home-grown daily fix. According to the CBC, the ISSpresso has been approved for use by NASA and will be delivered early next year to the ISS with 20 coffee capsules. The ISSpresso weighs 44 pounds and resembles a microwave machine. It works similarly to what is already being used aboard the ISS, with tubes delivering liquid coffee in special packets (coffee cups would be extremely messy in the ISS). However, the plastic tubes will be replaced with steel so that the whole espresso system won’t experience too much wear and tear.
The ISS is one of the greatest science achievements of the century. Constructed in 1998, the ISS serves as a research laboratory where crew members can conduct research on different fields of study, like biology, physics, astronomy and meteorology. The ISS has been occupied by astronauts from different countries and has been in operation for more than 13 years. The ISS program is headed by five international space agencies, NASA from USA, Roskosmos from Russia, JAXA from Japan, ESA from Europe, and CSA from Canada.
[Image from Coffeegeek via Wikimedia]