ISSpresso, the innovative Italian capsule-based espresso machine created by Argotec and Lavazza in collaboration with the Italian Space Agency, welcomes the VITA space mission crew. Coffee is the protagonist of the VITA Mission (the Italian word for ‘life’ and an acronym standing for ‘Vitality, Innovation, Technology, Ability’), which has brought Paolo Nespoli and his crewmates to the International Space Station (ISS).
Upon arrival, the astronauts are welcomed by a 100% Italian product: the innovative capsule-based ISSpresso machine created by Argotec and Lavazza in a public-private partnership with the Italian Space Agency (ASI). The machine was installed in the Space Station’s Node 1/Unity module on May 3rd, 2015 during the Futura mission. The partnership with ASI, which coordinated the experiment, made possible the machine’s transport to the International Space Station and, subsequently, thanks to an agreement made with NASA, the agency was able to secure ISSpresso’s permanent stay in orbit.
The baton has now been passed from European Space Agency astronauts Samantha Cristoforetti to Paolo Nespoli, an astronaut on his third space flight who in recent months at Argotec’s research and development laboratories in Turin has learned all of ISSpresso’s secrets, with aspects ranging from technical to practical use.
We are particularly proud to be taking Italian craftsmanship out of the Earth’s atmosphere for the second time as part of the ambitious project undertaken with Argotec and founded on technical expertise and creativity (…) This initiative represents one more step in our journey through innovation. The space mission VITA’s Italian name is easily associated to an equally recognized international symbol of Italianness, the espresso. This is further proof that we have the perfect recipe: passion, quality and a desire for ongoing innovation, helping us to keep ahead of the curve. Interestingly enough, the A Modo Mio blend that the astronauts will enjoy in space is the same one available for customers in their homes.
Vice Chairman Lavazza Group
After 27 months in space at 400 kilometres above the Earth, the ISSpresso machine will allow yet another Italian astronaut to enjoy a perfect artisanal espresso in space, just like at home. The aroma is the same, thanks to the delicate, balanced flavor provided by the Lavazza capsules: the crema and coffee are not mixed, as they are on Earth, but instead are separate, and furthermore, the traditional espresso cup is replaced by a special pouch to drink from. ISSpresso can make coffee in extreme conditions, where the principles of fluid differ completely from those on Earth. However, the preparation process is the same: the utmost practicality and simplicity for espresso, this time to be enjoyed through a straw. ISSpresso meets very stringent compatibility requirements set forth by NASA for the systems already present onboard, along with those which astronauts interact with. The machine also has an innovative device that allows the coffee dispensing line to be cleaned.