Let’s just say Italian astronauts couldn’t go very long without a piping hot cup of espresso. And why should they? The first espresso coffee was brewed and sipped on in space by astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti in 2015, and no one has looked back since.
We touched on the travels of espresso in our recent fast facts about espresso article, but we heard that our readers would like to learn more. As the original espresso catering company, we’re happy to dive into the first espresso coffee machine designed for use in space, the ISSPresso.
Just don’t expect our staff to be making trips out to the International Space Station anytime soon!
The History of the ISSpresso
Are you surprised that the nation in charge of bringing espresso to space was Italy? After a few years of studying the technological choices and getting approval from NASA, the ISSpresso was ready to be sent into space.
In April of 2015, the first model was sent to the International Space Station with the help of a SpaceX resupply mission. Then, on May 3rd of that same year, the first-ever espresso was drunk by Samantha Cristoforetti in what astronauts consider “micro-gravity conditions.”
So, How Does it Work?
Very similar to a traditional espresso machine, the ISSpresso starts brewing when astronauts insert a coffee capsule into a slot near the top surface of the device. Think Nespresso pods, but just a tad bit more expensive. A drink size is then selected after putting a pod into the machine, and the magic process begins.
Sounds simple enough, right? The design of the ISSPresso was intended to be easy to use, without specific training.
Houston, we’re going to need more pods!
Is the ISSPresso still in use today?
A bummer for all future space-goers out there with a craving for espresso, the ISSpresso returned to earth after a 32-month stay aboard the International Space Station. Considered the “coffee in space” mission, it’s safe to say this machine was a success! Cheers to that.