Coffee on its way to space station, made by ISSpresso coffee machine (really)

coffee on its way to iss isspresso

After a hard day’s space walking, astronauts would probably love nothing more than to strap themselves securely into their favorite armchair and relax with a cup of freshly brewed coffee as they…ahem…watch the world go by.

With Starbucks yet to open an outlet 250 miles above Earth (hey, give it time), space travelers have been faced with a limited number of options when it comes to beverages, though thanks to a recent collaboration between space-food specialists Argotec and coffee company Lavazza, that looks set to change.

For over a year the pair have been working on the – OK, prepare to cringe – ISSpresso coffee machine, describing it as “the first capsule-based espresso system able to work in the extreme conditions of space.”

isspresso-coffee-machineThe companies, both Italian (well, what did you expect?), said their revolutionary machine can deliver the “perfect espresso” in a weightless environment, as well as other drinks such as tea, infusions and broth.

It gets better – the machine will apparently be placed in a new ‘corner cafe’ on the ISS, “a hub for socializing on board the station.” Corner cafe?!? It seems Starbucks really does have a chance to open a branch in space.

Designing the ISSpresso was clearly no easy task, with engineers forced to overcome challenges like how to handle liquids at high pressure and high temperature in microgravity conditions.

“The machine is so complex that it weighs about 20 kilograms since there are back-ups of all the critical components for safety reasons in accordance with the specifications agreed upon with the Italian Space Agency,” Lavazza said in a release. Company VP Giuseppe Lavazza added that he hoped the ISSpresso will help “improve the living and nutrition quality of astronauts engaged on long missions.”

The coffee maker is set to be blasted skyward in November – together with Samantha Cristoforetti, Italy’s first female astronaut – offering coffee-loving ISS inhabitants their first taste of the bean-based drink in space (albeit via a pouch and tube).

Emerging Tech

Inside the Ocean Cleanup’s ambitious plan to rid the ocean of plastic waste

In 2013, Boyan Slat crowdfunded $2.2 million to fund the Ocean Cleanup, a nonprofit organization that builds big, floating trash collectors and sets them out to sea, where they’re designed to autonomously gobble up garbage.
Product Review

Still waiting for a new Mac Pro? Corsair’s mini PC has all the power you'll need

With a modern 12-core Intel Core i9-9920X processor, Nvidia’s RTX 2080 Ti graphics, and 32GB of RAM, the Corsair One Pro is designed to woo creatives who demand more power from Apple’s Mac Pro. Like the Mac Pro, the best part of this PC…
Smart Home

Our favorite coffee makers make flavorful cups of joe from the comforts of home

Whether you're looking for a simple coffee maker to get you through the morning or a high-end brewer that will impress your taste buds and your friends, you'll find some of the best coffee makers around on this list.
Computing

Working hard or hardly working? Do it right with these versatile PC desks

Looking for a new piece of furniture that will fit in your office, dorm, or gaming cave? Here are some of our favorite computer desks on the market, whether you're a serious gamer looking for an upgrade, or just moved into a new space.
Product Review

Now that every speaker has Alexa, don't you want the best? Get the Sonos One

To compete in the smart speaker space, Sonos could have just made a better-sounding Alexa speaker. But the company has a reputation to uphold, and went much further. Our Sonos One Review reveals how Sonos does Alexa better than Amazon.
Emerging Tech

Troubleshooting Earth

It’s no secret that humans are killing the planet. Some say it’s actually so bad that we’re hurtling toward a sixth major extinction event -- one which we ourselves are causing. But can technology help us undo the damage we’ve…
Emerging Tech

Climeworks wants to clean the atmosphere with a fleet of truck-sized vacuums

Using machines that resemble jet engines, Climeworks wants to fight climate change by extracting CO2 from thin air. The gas can then be sold to carbonated drink and agriculture companies, or sequestered underground.
Emerging Tech

How 3D printing has changed the world of prosthetic limbs forever

When he was 13 years old, Christophe Debard had his leg amputated. Here in 2019, Debard's Print My Leg startup helps others to create 3D-printed prostheses. Welcome to a growing revolution!
Emerging Tech

Geoengineering is risky and unproven, but soon it might be necessary

Geoengineering is a field dedicated to purposely changing the world's climate using technology. Call it 'playing god' if you must; here's why its proponents believe it absolutely must happen.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Earth Day, indoor container farming, robot submarines

Today on Digital Trends Live, we discuss how technology intersects with Earth Day, a new Tim Cook biography, indoor container farming, robot spy submarines, A.I. death metal, and more.
Gaming

Google’s Stadia is the future of gaming, and that’s bad news for our planet

Google’s upcoming Stadia cloud gaming service, and its competitors, are ready to change the way gamers play, but in doing so they may kick off a new wave of data center growth – with unfortunate consequences for the environment.
Emerging Tech

Hawaiian botanists’ drone discovers a plant thought to be lost forever

In what may well be a world first, botanists in Hawaii recently used a drone to find a species of plant that scientists believed was extinct. The plant was located on a sheer cliff face nearly 20 years after its last sighting.
Emerging Tech

Alphabet’s Wing drones now have FAA approval to deliver packages in the U.S.

Alphabet Wing has become the first company to receive Air Carrier Certification from the FAA. This means that it can begin commercial deliveries from local businesses to homes in the U.S.
Emerging Tech

A battery-free pacemaker harvests and stores energy from heartbeats

Researchers in China and the United States have developed a new battery-free pacemaker which gathers its required electricity from the energy of heartbeats. Here's why that's so exciting.