Many people may be surprised to learn that caffeine is not just for Earth anymore. Astronauts will soon have to place their orders for grande or venti drinks because fresh coffee is now going into space. For a lot of hard working employees, staying up late and waking up early for their long shifts is simply not possible without coffee. Caffeine can, without a doubt, be considered a key part of not only the American diet; it is also a staple of worldwide cuisine. In addition to its energy boost, coffee has been proven to have many other positive effects on the body when drunk in moderation. Some studies have even shown that it can help with memorization.
However, until very recently, fresh caffeine was a luxury of people living and walking on Earth, and out of reach for those lucky enough to go to space, yet not lucky enough to have gravity making life on Earth easier. Thus, to fix this problem and get astronauts their fresh coffee, companies have been working on developing a solution that can deliver fresh, hot java to astronauts in space.
Technology has surely advanced a lot in the past few decades, and the effects of such advancements can be seen and felt in the everyday life of the average person. Therefore, one might be surprised to hear that, for so many years, astronauts have been forced to live with tepid instant coffee as a substitute for the fresh cups many on Earth are lucky to drink.
However, after listening to astronauts, especially Italians, complain about the issues directly affecting them, a few companies finally gave in, and are committed to procuring intrepid space adventurers with freshly brewed coffee. Now, astronauts will have to answer the question: cosmic grande or venti? Caffeine is finally going to space. The International Space Station will soon have an “ISSPresso” machine, built as a prototype to test the possibilities of giving fresh brewed coffee to the men and women exploring the universe.
Sadly, due to the lack of gravity, they will have to manage to live with the reality of drinking from a pouch with a straw, since liquid coffee in a cup would probably make a mess, not to mention it would be virtually impossible to pour.
Still, this new technology is a source of a lot of excitement for those benefiting from it, which is a solid indicator about how demanding our civilization currently is of technological advances. Thus, starting next year, all astronauts already in space, as well as Samantha Cristoforetti, an Italian astronaut scheduled to leave earth around the same time as the new coffee machine, will all be able to benefit from this small yet significant invention, designed to prepare fresh coffee and pour it into pouches despite the gravitational problems.
It is clear to see that technology is starting to respond to the smallest, most specific needs of everyone regardless of profession. Technology can even defy current obstacles to satisfy humans’ desires. Hence, even if this particular technological advance is not the most important of the decade, if people are able to live outside of Earth in the future, they might just look back on this very day and remember the small step science made towards making life in outer space just a tiny bit better, and definitely much more livable. Astronauts will now have to order their cosmic grande or venti because caffeine is going to space.
By: Rebecca Savastio