Space station supply ship delivers espresso A prototype of Lavazza and Argotec's "ISSpresso" machine (AP photos)
Space station supply ship delivers espresso
Lexile

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. It came three days after its Florida launch and was retrieved 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. She has 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 Friday, April 17. "Lots of science and even coffee's in there. So that's pretty exciting."

The espresso machine is three months late. That is 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. She 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. Then 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. He is just a few weeks into a one-year mission. That 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 endured just minor damage. The platform has been dubbed, "Just Read the Instructions."

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

Musk is a billionaire entrepreneur who also runs the Tesla electric car maker. He 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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COMMENTS (46)
  • kalindah11
    4/23/2015 - 11:01 a.m.

    Wow, Space coffee. I'd love to try that, even if it probably won't taste any different than normal coffee. It'd definitely still be pretty cool!

  • RaelinaH35
    4/23/2015 - 11:09 a.m.

    It's cool that they sent an espresso machine into space. How would they make espresso if there's no gravity? They did say it was designed exclusively for astronauts. I wonder what people do in space. I wanna go to space someday.

  • ChrisG1106
    4/23/2015 - 12:46 p.m.

    I think it is awesome that astronauts can enjoy coffee now while in space because you cant have liquids in space until now. Now, astronauts can get their caffeine fix.

  • giezc0103
    4/23/2015 - 01:34 p.m.

    Wow this is great now we can drink espresso in space I would like to try some of this espresso. This is a really big breakthrough also is good that the space station got supplies.

  • JaydonJBlack
    4/23/2015 - 01:44 p.m.

    Wow! Wouldn't it be cool if you could spend a week in space just floating around in the hallways with a burrito in your hand. Well one day that will be possible.

  • CaseyS-Kut
    4/23/2015 - 01:45 p.m.

    Yay space coffee, I'm sure to make a space espresso machine did take some designing. My guess too how they make it is a concealed cup of some sort. Since there is know gravity in the space station the drink would just glide out of the cup. And from there could damage avionics and electric systems in the station. I also wonder if they taste different in space. Not only that getting it up to the space station, I wonder if the g force of the rocket can thicken the taste of the drink.

  • Jodeep-OBr
    4/23/2015 - 01:45 p.m.

    I think they made an expresso machine designed for astronauts because they might get tired and need more energy. Coffee has a lot of sugar and that's why people drink coffee to get more energy. I wonder what the expresso machine looks like and if it makes coffee normally. It must be designed specially for the zero-gravity conditions in the space station. What if they drink too much coffee and they get sick?

  • coltenIred
    4/23/2015 - 01:46 p.m.

    That's really cool i would love to have an expresso in space, because having instant coffee everyday doesn't seem very nice after a while. And they had to make it for space, it couldn't just be a normal machine.

  • DiegoROrange
    4/23/2015 - 01:48 p.m.

    You think that the space station would already have coffee on board but it took till now to have coffee on board. Thats my personal opinion.

  • NeilWSilver
    4/23/2015 - 04:52 p.m.

    When I first read this article, many questions came to mind. I first wondered how they would have an unlimited electricity supply, or is it received in the goods they will receive? Not to mention, well, I may have no degree in physics, but how would blood and other liquids not float around our arteries and veins to stop us from working properly? I may not know now, but I might learn one day! Also, the question about electricity is because I'm wondering how they power their spaceship.

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