TURIN, Italy (PRNewswire) — Over the past 13 years, the Italian astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) frequently remarked that the thing they miss most while aboard is espresso coffee. Today, Lavazza and Argotec, in conjunction with the Italian Space Agency (ASI), announce the launch of ISSpresso: the first capsule-based espresso system specifically designed to work in space, bringing Lavazza's authentic Italian coffee to the ISS.
The inaugural use of ISSpresso is scheduled for the Futura Mission to the ISS on November 23, 2014, where European Space Agency Air Force Captain, Samantha Cristoforetti, will be the first Italian woman to enter space and the first astronaut in history to drink espresso while in orbit.
Taking its name from the ISS itself, the ISSpresso machine will be the first of its kind to work in space conditions, where the principles of fluid dynamics differ from those on Earth. Created by Argotec, the Italian engineering company specializing in aerospace system designs and European leader in the preparation of foods for in-space consumption, and Italian coffee brand Lavazza, the machine will deliver a perfect espresso in a weightless environment.
"ISSpresso meets very stringent technical and safety requirements, imposed by the ASI, while also meeting the nutritional needs of the astronauts," said David Avino, Managing Director of Argotec.
"Italian coffee is a beverage without borders," comments Giuseppe Lavazza, Vice President of Lavazza. "We are proud to have worked with Argotec through the Lavazza Innovation Center - our division dedicated to research and product innovation. We were able to overcome the limits of weightlessness so astronauts can enjoy the cultural symbol of Italy- espresso- in orbit."
"We're grateful for the cooperation of NASA which shares the mission of improving the quality of life for ISS astronauts who take part in interplanetary exploration missions," adds Delfina Bertolotto, Head of the Human Spaceflight Unit of the ASI.
The machine will prepare espresso as well as caffe lungo, tea, infusions and broth, allowing food to be rehydrated.