Wednesday, September 3, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Cosmic caffeine: Astronauts getting espresso maker

By
From page A1 | June 28, 2014 |

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Talk about a cosmic caffeine jolt. The International Space Station is getting a real Italian espresso machine.

Astronauts of all nationalities — but especially the Italians — have long grumbled about the tepid instant coffee served in pouches and drunk with straws 260 miles above Earth. The pouches and straws aren’t going away, but at least the brew will pack some zero-gravity punch.

The specially-designed-for-space espresso machine is dubbed ISSpresso — ISS for International Space Station.

Its launch early next year from Wallops Island, Virginia, is timed to coincide with the six-month mission of Italy’s first female astronaut, Samantha Cristoforetti. The 37-year-old fighter pilot and Italian Air Force captain will fly to the space station in November aboard a Russian capsule.

She’ll be the first out-of-this-world barista.

“How cool is that?” she said in a tweet earlier this month. “I’ll get to operate the first space espresso machine!”

Italy’s century-old coffee maestro Lavazza teamed up with a Turin-based engineering company, Argotec, and the Italian Space Agency to improve coffee conditions aboard the orbiting outpost.

Besides espresso, ISSpresso is capable of whipping up tea and consommé.

What more could an astronaut want?

During his 5½-month stay on the space station last year, Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano repeatedly talked about missing espresso. (This is the cool-as-ice test pilot who nearly drowned during a spacewalk last July when his helmet filled with water from his suit’s cooling system.)

Argotec already was working on a space espresso machine. Orbital Sciences Corp. of Virginia will make the delivery on its Cygnus cargo ship; the launch is targeted for January.

NASA’s coffee-loving astronaut Donald Pettit actually offered some ideas for ISSpresso during its design phase. He’s a two-time space station resident who invented and even patented a zero-gravity cup for sipping his orbital joe versus sucking it with a straw.

No question, an espresso machine will be “a welcome addition” to space station life, Pettit said Wednesday from Johnson Space Center in Houston. The pre-measured bags of freeze-dried coffee served in orbit taste good — when you’re up there on the frontier, he said. On Earth, any coffee lover would go “Yeeck.”

Argotec spokesman Antonio Pilello has sampled the ISSpresso espresso and gives it a thumbs-up. The space machine is designed to operate at the same temperature and pressure as Earthly espresso makers, according to the company, to guarantee taste and flavor.

“You know, coffee is very important for Italian people. We are really hard to please about it!” Pilello wrote in an email.

Certified for safety and approved by NASA, ISSpresso initially will fly with 20 coffee capsules. Extra packets will follow for the six-member crew, if the trial run goes well. The 44-pound machine — a compact 14 inches by 17 inches — will be housed in the U.S. laboratory, Destiny. It resembles a microwave oven, with all the action occurring inside.

Engineers replaced the typical plastic tubing in an espresso machine with steel for robustness. They also used buttons and switches similar to those already on the space station, so the astronauts would be familiar with the design.

Astronaut Pettit points out that the lack of gravity will prevent the bubbly foam from rising to the top. Yet even if the space espresso falls short by connoisseur standards, “it would be the best coffee that we’ve ever had in space.”

___

Online:

NASA: http://tinyurl.com/nasaspacestation

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Travis Heritage Center puts aircraft histories on video

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Teen to be prosecuted as adult for Tabor shooting

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A1

 
Body of Eureka soldier returns home through Travis

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Labor Day not a holiday for everyone

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3, 5 Comments | Gallery

 
Labor Day breakfast introduces union-backed candidates

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3, 2 Comments | Gallery

Pool provides last dose of summer fun in the sun

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
 
Grape spill backs up commuter traffic

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

 
Police chase Labor Day shots-fired reports

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A5

Rush Ranch puts out call for docents

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A5

 
College gets large biotechnology grant

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Festival of Hope returns to Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

 
SafeQuest schedules peer counseling training course

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5

End city role at Parkway Gardens, Mraz says

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A5

 
He’s back: ‘Forest Gump’ returns to theaters

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: Sept. 1, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Sept. 1, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: Aug. 31, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 31, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Weather for Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B14

 
.

US / World

Bullet-train foes seek state Supreme Court review

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
Governor seeks federal aid for Napa earthquake

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Recovery knocks 21 fish species from watch list

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
California wildfire creeps within 2 miles of homes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

LA man gets prison in abandoned van dog death

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
Boy, 11, fights off would-be kidnapper in Azusa

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Double mastectomy doesn’t boost survival for most

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Attorney: Detroit needs debt plan to survive

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

30 teens escape from Nashville detention center

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Police: Death of teen whose body burned was random

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Infamous speed trap town investigated over tickets

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
PG&E penalized $1.4B for deadly pipeline blast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Memo: No wrongdoing in handling child immigrants

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Mom of autistic girl pleads guilty to child abuse

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Syrian rebels issue demands for captive UN troops

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Pakistan lawmakers back premier amid mass protests

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Seismic activity calms down near Iceland volcano

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Top South America hackers rattle Peru’s Cabinet

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Ukrainian troops routed as Russia talks tough

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Group says world is losing battle against Ebola

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Video purports to show beheading of US journalist

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12 | Gallery

 
US strike targets leader of Somali extremist group

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13 | Gallery

.

Opinion

Police enforcement counts

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

 
 
.

Living

Community Calendar: Sept. 3, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
10 ways to make life better

By Barton Goldsmith | From Page: A2

.

Entertainment

Bieber charged with assault over photo incident

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Family: Joan Rivers on life support

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Celebrities’ nude shots removed from some websites

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
.

Sports

Paxton takes shutout into 8th, Mariners stop A’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Baalke, Harbaugh won’t tolerate domestic violence

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Carr knows being named starter just the beginning

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Armijo beats Vanden 2-0 to claim All-City boys soccer title

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Picking the best of the worst for Ryder Cup

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Posey, Giants rally for 12-7 win over Rockies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Questions for FSU and Alabama after opening week

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Following his own rules, Monfils into US Open QFs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Seahawks stay atop AP Pro32 power rankings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Broncos WR Welker suspended for 4 games

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Stanford’s O-line trying to live up to reputation

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NFL suspends Irsay 6 games, fines him $500,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Unbeaten US routs New Zealand 98-71 at worlds

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Tom Watson fills out his Ryder Cup team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Prep volleyball: Vikings, Mustangs win foundation games

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Boone insists he will be ready for Sunday opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
This date in sports history for Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

It’s no longer safe to recline your airplane seat

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Some fear auto industry returning to bad habits

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Home Depot probes possible credit card data breach

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Revel casino follows Showboat, closes its doors

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

.

Obituaries

George H. Gollinger

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Laurie Danielson Bailey

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

.

Comics

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7