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Espresso Maker Made For Astronauts And Its Called 'ISSpresso'

Update Date: Jun 17, 2014 07:40 AM EDT

Two Italian companies have designed a unique brewing machine that will work even in space. 

Lavazza, an Italian coffee manufacturer, and Argotech, an Italian aerospace company worked in collaboration to create a 20-kg machine, dubbed 'ISSpresso', which will provide "authentic Italian espresso" to astronauts. 

The machine is heavily modified to produce and dispense coffee in zero gravity. While standard coffeemakers use plastic tubes to transport water, this machine uses a steel tube designed to withstand high pressure in order to prevent any liquid from escaping, the SpaceReporter reported. 

Another modification in the espresso maker is that instead grinding its own beans, it uses capsules. A variety of capsules will enable the machine to produce other hot beverages such as tea  broth, and café lungo. 

It can also be used to rehydrate food onboard the space station. 

"[T]he plastic tube carrying the water inside a normal espresso machine has been replaced with a special steel tube designed to withstand pressure of more than 400 bar," according to the Lavazza website. (400 bar is 400 times atmospheric pressure at sea level.) 

"The machine is so complex that it weighs about 20 kilograms [44 pounds] 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."

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