The few people sitting up in the International Space Station may well have the best view of all of us, but the one thing they don’t have is a fresh cup of coffee, and while you can just go to the kitchen or coffee shop to grab one, there are a few obstacles for space explorers to overcome.
One of these is obviously gravity, because without gravity, the liquid will won’t blend properly, and will fall out of the machine in globules.
That’s a pretty important issue, and it’s one of the greatest ones, but Lavazza has been working on a fix for the problem with Italian aeronautics company Argotec to find a solution, especially since the first Italian woman in space will be heading for her out-of-this-world experience shortly.
That solution is what Lavazza calls the “ISSpresso,” and comprises of a capsule-based espresso system similar to the ones Lavazza currently employs in its range, but relies on a special construction with more complicated machinery.
There are heavier components, bringing the only one or two kilogram regular machine weight up closer to 20kg, and with a steel tube inside able to withstand pressure for more than 400 bar, not the 15-20 offered by machines that work down here on Earth.
Unfortunately, the ISSpresso won’t make the coffee in a glass or mug — that’s one of the issues of having no gravity — but the machine will infuse the special capsules with water to make espresso coffee complete with a level of crema in a plastic pouch for the astronauts to drink.
“Today we are in a position to overcome the limits of weightlessness and enjoy a good espresso — the indisputable symbol of made in Italy products — on board the International Space Station,” said Giuseppe Lavazza, Vice President of Lavazza.
“We are proud to have worked on this major project with Argotec, through the Lavazza Innovation Center, our division dedicated to research and product innovation: a scientific and engineering challenge which we hope will improve the living and nutrition quality of astronauts engaged on long missions.”