A prototype of Lavazza and Argotec’s “ISSpresso” machine. (AP Photo/Lavazza)
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Mornings are about to improve for the Italian astronaut who’s been suffering through instant coffee at the International Space Station since fall. An espresso machine is on the supply capsule scheduled for launch Monday.
The specially designed, Italian-made espresso maker is intended for Samantha Cristoforetti, who arrived last November. It was supposed to fly in January, but ended up on backlog following another company’s launch explosion last year.
The espresso maker is dubbed ISSpresso — ISS standing for International Space Station. Italian coffee giant Lavazza joined forces with the Turin-based engineering company Argotec and the Italian Space Agency to provide a specially designed machine for use off the planet. NASA certified its safety.
A prototype of Lavazza and Argotec’s “ISSpresso” machine. (AP photo/Lavazza)
NASA’s space station program deputy manager, Dan Hartman, said it’s all part of making astronauts feel at home as they spend months — and even up to a year — in orbit. Already, Mission Control gives astronauts full access to email, phone calls, private video hookups, and live news and sports broadcasts.
“The psychological support is very, very important,” Hartman told reporters. “If an espresso machine comes back and we get a lot of great comments from the crew … It’s kind of like the ice cream thing, right, when we fly ice cream every now and then. It’s just to boost spirits. Maybe some rough day, a scoop of ice cream gets them over that hump kind of thing.”
SpaceX has a single second — at precisely 4:33 p.m. — to launch its unmanned cargo ship for NASA from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Forecasters put the odds of acceptable weather at 60 percent.
Minutes after liftoff, SpaceX will try again to land its leftover booster on an ocean barge.
Altogether, the capsule holds more than 4,000 pounds of supplies.
More tech-y stories about food: