Italy’s first female astronaut, Captain Samantha Cristoforetti, will join the ISS crew later this year, and will carry a very special gift for her new colleagues: the ISSpresso, the first capsule-based espresso machine designed for space.
It was built by Lavazza, a famous Italian manufacturer of coffee products, the Italian Space Agency, and Argotec, an aerospace company.
To deliver the perfect espresso in a weightless environment, a special steel tube was designed to withstand 400 bars of pressure. To put things into perspective, the Italian Espresso National Institute specifies that to make certified Italian espresso one just needs a plastic tube that can withstand 9 bars of pressure, reports Wired.
And because the combination of a lack of gravity and a hot beverage can cause some serious issues, the method of delivery has been tweaked as well. All coffees will be served in small pouches and will have to be enjoyed through a straw.
The 20-kilogram machine also prepares tea, infusions, and even broth.
Who will be the first person to enjoy an original Italian espresso in space?