The astronaut from the European Space Agency or ESA, Samantha Cristoforetti, who is also the first Italian women in space, sipped a cup of coffee brewed in the ISS. Apart from being the alternative to having beverages or fluids sucked out of a bag, the specially designed microgravity cups are also supposed to be a part of the study to understand fluid physics. Cristoforetti has kept a daily log of videos, photos and insights about the life in orbit.
Posts of Cristoforetti coupled with five other astronauts on the station give a visual account of their experiments and activities. Many of these are meant for promoting science, fitness and nutrition to children as a part of the Future science promotion missions.
Involvement of Cristoforetti in educational activities includes asking questions to students related to topics such as space technology and alternative food sources. As per the experts, the experiment of espresso coffee was as much for science in general as it was for education.
“Until Sunday, we didn’t know exactly how hot fluids under high pressure reacted in the low-gravity environment of the ISS”, said Roberto Battiston, president of the Italian space agency ASI.
Argotec, the Italian engineering and software firm in association with ASI and coffee company Lavazza created the espresso machine for the ISS, hence holding the term ISSpresso. Dr. Weislogel and his teammates designed a cup which sets up a capillary connection which is almost akin to the wicking of water through a paper towel and it allows the drink to access the liquid.
According to the experts, there is a possibility that the findings of the experiment might provide data for a number of practical applications like getting the last drop of fuel out of a tank.