Caffeine cravings still exist at zero gravity—just ask an astronaut.
That’s why an espresso machine is being installed in the International Space Station (ISS) called the “ISSpresso.” The coffee machine was built by Italian coffee company Lavazza in conjunction with Argotec and the Italian Space Agency, WIRED reports.
Giuseppe Lavazza said that feedback from astronauts revealed one of the most missed commodities in space is the humble espresso.
— ISS Research (@ISS_Research) June 15, 2014
Perfecting a cup of joe in space took some serious tinkering. The ISS is pressurized to sea level, so the boiling temperature of water isn’t affected; but, the steam pipe—what would normally be plastic tubing in your local Starbucks—is replaced with a steel tube capable of withstanding 400bar of pressure (the normal is 9bar of pressure). Also, astronauts must consume the coffee in small pouches and drink it through a straw.
Thanks to the Italian coffee giant, astronauts will be able to convene around the coffee machine and get their caffeine fix before floating hundreds of miles into space.
The machine—which weighs 20kg—will be accompanying Air Force Captain Samantha Cristoforetti (Italy’s first woman into space) in November this year.
Learn more about the ISSpresso machine in the video below.
And now, just for shits and giggles, watch what it’s like to eat dinner aboard the ISS.