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Italian astronaut proudly sips first espresso in space

Elizabeth Howell, News Writer
May 5, 2015, 4:51 UTC

Sen—Life in space just got a bit closer to Earth, as astronauts now can enjoy an espresso brewed right at home on the International Space Station.

Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti proudly sampled the new Italian Lavazza coffee in pictures posted on social media over the weekend. Cristoforetti also installed the espresso maker, made by Italian manufacturer Argotec, on the station. The machine, quite rightly, is called the ISSpresso.

"Today at 12:44 GMT @AstroSamantha enjoyed the first espresso ever brewed in space," machine-maker Argotec tweeted on Sunday (May 3).

"ISSpresso is the first capsule-based espresso system able to work in the extreme conditions of space and it is a project by Argotec and Lavazza in partnership with the Italian Space Agency," the company added in a press statement about the project.

The project was completed in a speedy 18 months, soon enough to get it on board at the same time as Cristoforetti. It was shipped to the International Space Station on a SpaceX Dragon cargo ship which arrived with supplies on April 17.

While the espresso machine was built quickly, it's no lightweight; the machine weighs 25 kilograms due to redundant "critical components" in the system, a must-have in space where replacement parts require an expensive ride from Earth.



The espresso machine made by Argotec, with Lavazza coffee. Image Credit: Argotec