For the first time ever, astronauts will be able to drink "good, hot and steaming" coffee in space

In a feat of coffee engineering, the International Space Station will soon get its first-ever espresso machine

Published June 16, 2014 6:00PM (EDT)

 ISSpresso    (screenshot)
ISSpresso (screenshot)

Last year Italian astronaut Luca Partmitano took questions from Astronaut Abby about his stint on the International Space Station. When asked what food he wished were available on the ISS, Partmitano responded: "The only thing I really miss, if we talk about food, is a real Italian espresso."

In November, the treat of hot espresso will be available for astronauts on the International Space Station. According to CollectSPACE:

"The 'ISSpresso,' a capsule-based espresso machine, will enable astronauts to brew the hot caffeinated beverage as an alternative to the instant coffee that has been their only option aboard the space station for the past 13 years."

The Italian coffee company Lavazza worked with aerospace engineering firm Argotec and the Italian Space Agency to create what is being called ISSpresso.

"We have been thinking about taking espresso into space for some time,"Giuseppe Lavazza, vice president of Lavazza, said in a statement. "Today we are in a position to overcome the limits of weightlessness and enjoy a good espresso – the indisputable symbol of made in Italy products – on the International Space Station."

The first-ever espresso machine will arrive in space with a launch by the European Space Agency, in November of this year. The ISSpresso will not be the most exciting part of that launch, however. It will be carried up by Samantha Cristoforetti, who is poised to be the first Italian woman in space.

The machine itself has been technically modified to withstand space conditions. Steel pipe with the ability to withstand intense pressure, replaced the plastic tubing found in Earth-grounded coffee machines. "A real coffee,"  Lavazza describes in a video below. "That which one drinks in a cafe: good, hot, and steaming."

h/t CollectSPACE

By Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email

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