If astronauts aboard the International Space Station orbiting space have missed quality espresso coffees for some time, then they are in for a good time because they can now enjoy it to the fullest aboard the ISS, courtesy of a brilliant technology developed by Italy.
Italy had been working to send an espresso machine to the ISS for the benefits of the researchers up there in space, but they also came upon the idea of designing a special cup that can defy the low-gravity environments of the ISS orbit. A well-liked 3D printable cup that has been called the “espresso space cup” is the result of their efforts, and this should bode well with astronauts aboard the space ship.
Espresso is a strong black coffee that is brewed by forcing hot water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans – and it is also primarily distinguished by a complex low-density colloid of emulsified oils. The low gravity up in space would enable these oils to rise to the surface to form a foam known as “crema”. The ability of the special 3D printable espresso space cup to make emulsified coffee oils to rise to the surface largely determines the expertise of baristas – persons that make and serve coffees in shops – to make and serve quality espresso coffees.
However, a professor of Thermal and Fluid Sciences at Portland State University, Mark Weislogel, states that they have a much wider vision beyond making usable espresso coffee cups for space use. He reaffirms that the special methods used to create the espresso coffee space cups would be used to reassess all fluid systems aboard spacecrafts – cooling systems, fuel tanks, water processing equipment for life support, plant and animal habitats, medical fluids, and all foods in general.