Feeds

Space station 'nauts will use URINE-FUELLED ESPRESSO MACHINE

Tomorrow's coffee - made out of yesterday's

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

A critical issue standing between humanity and its manifest future - that is to say, the availability of decent coffee in space - has been solved with the invention of an espresso machine which it's planned to send up to the International Space Station (ISS), groan-inducingly dubbed the ISSpresso.

Italian astronauts Paolo Nespoli and Luca Parmitano have spent time aboard the ISS in recent years and their compatriot Samantha Cristoforetti is due to spend time there in 2014 or 2015.

Nespolo and Parmitano have apparently said they greatly enjoyed their time aboard the ISS, save for the lack of a decent espresso.

The Reg sympathises with their plight: the ISS is spartan enough without having to drink instant coffee. Clearly any sensible planning for long-haul interstellar travel needs to involve something better.

Enter Italian engineering and software company Argotec, which is already a supplier of food to the Italian space program, and coffee giant Lavazza. The two are hard at work on a coffee machine they call the ISSpresso, a capsule-using creation they hope will go aloft with Captain Cristoforetti.

The two companies are talking up their collaboration as useful science that will help us to understand fluid dynamics in microgravity. To cope with that environment, the pair have revealed that some plastic piping in a conventional coffee machine will be replaced by steel tubes capable of handling 400 bar of pressure. The machine also offers multiply redundant components, as must everything aboard the ISS.

Not that the cost of launching kit into space seems to be troubling the Italian space program: the machine is said to weigh 20kg and the Falcon-9 craft currently being used to haul cargo to the ISS has a payload of 13,150kg. Throw in the fact that the machine depicted in this fluffy promo video appears to have a considerable void within it and the device looks like an extravagance. And that's before one considers whether coffee capsules, which use disposable aluminium wrappers, are justifiable on earth or in space.

The machine's saving grace may be that it is said to be capable of making other beverages, such as tea or even broth. The latter sounds rather sensible: a nutrient-rich capsule that could be turned into a simple meal sounds like a handy way to reduce the amount of food that needs to be hauled aloft. ®

Bootnote

Long-time readers will note that ISS 'nauts have long been drinking water recycled from their own urine, which they refer to lightheartedly as "yesterday's coffee". Should the ISSpresso genuinely be deployed to the station, it seems clear that tomorrow's coffee will also be made of yesterday's. - Ed

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
Human spacecraft dodge COMET CHUNKS pelting off Mars
Odyssey orbiter yet to report, though - comet's trailing trash poses new threat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.