Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home News World

Space station gets espresso machine

Published 17/04/2015

The SpaceX Dragon-6 resupply capsule near the International Space Station (NASA-TV via AP)
The SpaceX Dragon-6 resupply capsule near the International Space Station (NASA-TV via AP)

The SpaceX supply ship has arrived at the International Space Station, delivering the world's first espresso machine designed exclusively for astronauts.

The space station crew captured the Dragon capsule on Friday morning - three days after its Florida launch - with the help of a giant robot arm.

The cargo carrier holds more than 1,800kg of much-needed food, experiments and equipment.

Italy provided the espresso maker for Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti. She has been stuck with instant coffee since her mission began in November.

The espresso machine is three months late because of the backlog created by last year's loss of a supply ship in a launch explosion.

Much later and the espresso machine would have missed the Italian astronaut, who returns home next month. She said she can not wait to try some space espresso.

"It's been just amazing," Ms Cristoforetti said after snaring the Dragon over the Pacific. "Lots of science and even coffee's in there, so that's pretty exciting."

The Dragon will remain at the orbiting lab until around May 21, when it will be released full of experiments and discarded equipment for return to Earth. It is the only supply ship capable of bringing items back.

Among the newly arrived research are experiments for American astronaut Scott Kelly, who is just a few weeks into a one-year mission, which will be a record for Nasa.

SpaceX, meanwhile, released a video showing its first-stage booster landing on an ocean platform shortly after Tuesday's lift-off, then tipping over in flames. It was the California company's third attempt to fly a booster rocket to the platform stationed off Florida's north-eastern coast.

SpaceX chief Elon Musk said the platform - dubbed Just Read the Instructions - endured just minor damage.

The next try will be in June on the next SpaceX supply run for Nasa.

Mr Musk, a billionaire entrepreneur who also runs the Tesla electric car maker, wants to reuse his rockets to bring down the cost of spaceflight.

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph