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).

Cars

Can electric motors finally make three-wheeled cars great?

Every few years, someone tries to sell a three-wheeled vehicle to Americans. Historically, it hasn’t gone very well. We’ve got our suspicions about why people don’t buy trikes, and they boil down to this: a trike is just not a real…
Smart Home

Starbucks coffee delivery lands in 6 more cities via Uber Eats

Starbucks is in the process of expanding its coffee delivery service far beyond Miami. Available via the Uber Eats app, the service has just launched in San Francisco, with five additional cities joining in the coming weeks.
Product Review

Origin's Chronos PC is no looker, but it plays games with eye-popping detail

The Chronos is Origin’s smallest PC, but while it occupies less space than most A/V receivers, it delivers the power of a much larger desktop. Its dull exterior design does the system a disservice. Once you turn it on, you won’t be…
Computing

Stop dragging windows on your Mac. Here's how to use Split View to multitask

The latest iterations of MacOS offer a native Split View feature that can automatically divide screen space between two applications. Here's how to use Split View on a Mac, adjust it as needed, and how it can help out.
Emerging Tech

‘Tech vest’ prevents Amazon workers from colliding with robot co-workers

Amazon workers at its fulfillment centers are using "tech vests" to help protect them from collisions with their robot co-workers. The robots already have obstacle avoidance sensors, but the belt offers another layer of safety.
Emerging Tech

3D printers are finally affordable. Here are the best models under $500

3D printer prices have dropped dramatically over the past few years, but just because something is cheap doesn’t mean it’s worth buying. Here, we’ve rounded up all the cheap 3D printers that are actually worth spending your money on.
Mobile

T-Mobile 5G rollout: Here is everything you need to know

2019 will be a huge year for T-Mobile. Not only is a merger with Sprint likely, but T-Mobile is also in the midst of building out its next-generation mobile service. Here's everything you need to know about the T-Mobile 5G rollout.
Emerging Tech

ANYmal dog robot can get back on its feet when someone pushes it over

Roboticists at ETH Zurich have demonstrated how their ANYmal four-legged robot is capable of taking a kicking and keeping on walking -- or getting back to its feet if it's pushed over.
Emerging Tech

A.I. finds non-infringing ways to copy drugs pharma spends billions developing

Researchers have demonstrated an artificial intelligence which can find new methods for producing existing pharmaceuticals in a way that doesn’t infringe on existing patents. Here's how.
Emerging Tech

Coinstar machines will let you swap cash for Bitcoin at your local grocery store

Coinstar, the company which owns the coin exchange machines found at grocery stores and elsewhere, will soon let you easily buy Bitcoin with your cash money. Here's how it will work.
Emerging Tech

Facebook hasn’t given up on the idea of building an internet drone

Facebook's efforts to provide internet connectivity from the skies using solar-powered drones suffered a blow last year when the company abandoned its "Aquila" drone project. But the company clearly hasn't given up on the idea.
Emerging Tech

World’s biggest fleet of campus delivery robots now transporting student meals

The world’s largest fleet of delivery robots on a university campus is coming to Fairfax County, Virginia’s George Mason University. Here's how the ordering and delivery process plays out.
Deals

Smart luggage does it all with wireless charger, built-in scale, GPS tracking

The SkyValet smart luggage, currently being funded on Kickstarter, offers solutions to many common travel struggles. With SkyValet, you no longer need separate portable chargers, a scale to weigh your bag, a lock, or a tracking device. It's…
Emerging Tech

The CRISPR baby saga continues as China confirms second gene-edited pregnancy

China’s official Xinhua news agency has confirmed that a second woman has become pregnant as part of a controversial experiment to create the world’s first genetically edited babies.