Space station supply ship delivers espresso
Space station supply ship delivers espresso A prototype of Lavazza and Argotec's "ISSpresso" machine (AP photos)
Space station supply ship delivers espresso
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The SpaceX supply ship that arrived at the International Space Station has delivered the world's first espresso machine designed exclusively for astronauts.

Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti captured the Dragon capsule, three days after its Florida launch, with the help of a giant robot arm. The cargo carrier holds more than 4,000 pounds of much-needed groceries, experiments and equipment.

Italy provided the espresso maker for Cristoforetti, who's been stuck with instant coffee since her mission began in November.

Christmas comes late to International Space Station

"It's been just amazing," Cristoforetti said after snaring the Dragon over the Pacific on April 17. "Lots of science and even coffee's in there, so that's pretty exciting."

The espresso machine is three months late because of the backlog created by last year's loss of a supply ship in a launch explosion. Much later and the espresso machine would have missed Cristoforetti, who returns home in May. She says she can't wait to try some space espresso.

The Dragon will remain at the orbiting lab until around May 21, when it will be released full of experiments and discarded equipment for a return to Earth. It's the only supply ship capable of bringing items back.

Among the newly arrived research are experiments for American astronaut Scott Kelly, who is just a few weeks into a one-year mission, which will be a record for NASA.

SpaceX, meanwhile, released a video showing its first-stage booster landing on an ocean platform shortly after liftoff, then tipping over in flames. It was the California company's third attempt to fly a booster rocket to the platform stationed off Florida's northeastern coast.

SpaceX chief Elon Musk said the platform dubbed "Just Read the Instructions" endured just minor damage.

The next try will be in June on the next SpaceX supply run for NASA.

Musk, a billionaire entrepreneur who also runs the Tesla electric car maker, wants to reuse his rockets to bring down the cost of space flight.

Critical thinking challenge: Why was the International Space Station's expresso machine designed exclusively for astronauts?

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Assigned 10 times

  • ConnerC-Kut
    4/24/2015 - 07:41 a.m.

    It would be pretty cool to have an espresso maker in space. Have a nice cup of coffee seeing the sun rise in space and and relaxing at the end of the with one. Next time when it comes bake up, bring a waffle maker! What I'm basically saying is that they might need to bring more stuff to the space station so people up there have more stuff from home.

  • ShawnaWeiser-Ste
    4/24/2015 - 01:02 p.m.

    Astronauts have a huge job and need that boost of caffeine once in a while. I even need coffee to stay awake the entire day, so they should have the same luxury in space. I believe this is a very interesting idea and should be deeply considered.

  • donovanh-Che
    4/27/2015 - 11:49 a.m.

    The expresso machine has to be specially made for these astronauts so that it can function In the zero-g environment. I wonder how long it will take for many other items that are considered basic appliances or items to be specialized for the International Space Station.

  • Emilyg1-Cla
    4/27/2015 - 07:08 p.m.

    Wow Ms. Clarkson it is amazing how astronauts can have coffee now. I guess being in space really wears you out so the coffee might be really helpful. but why couldn't they come up with sooner. By the way that was a rhetorical question.

  • DAlexis-Cas
    4/27/2015 - 08:05 p.m.

    I think that this is really smart and cool in a way! Samantha Cristoforetti said that she was just stuck with instant coffee but now she could actually enjoy and espresso and its also good because she'd need to be alert and awake, so the caffeine would be really good for her so this espresso machine would be something really cool and neat every astronaut could use for there missions.

  • levim-Koc
    5/04/2015 - 12:45 a.m.

    imagine how that espresso machine had to be built, with all kinds of pumps and vacuum sealed areas. that thing must be! its very cool that SpaceX is still chasing the dream to re-use rockets to make space travel very very cheap.

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