4 min

Isspresso successfully completes the mission “coffee in space”

14-12-2017 • Events and sponsorships

Turin (December 14th, 2017) – After 32 months aboard the International Space Station (ISS), at 400 kilometres above the Earth’s surface, today marked the end of the mission “Coffee in Space”, featuring ISSpresso: the innovative capsule-based espresso machine installed into ISS Node 1/Unity and created by Argotec for Lavazza, in partnership with the Italian Space Agency (ASI). 



It was a long journey that began on May 3rd, 2015 during the FUTURA mission — with Samantha Cristoforetti drinking the first espresso coffee in micro-gravity conditions in history — and ended with the International Space Agency’s VITA mission, during which Italian ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli completed his third voyage into space. In its two years in space, ISSpresso travelled more than 650 million kilometres at a speed of 28,000 km/h, took in nearly 15,500 sunrises aboard the International Space Station and was featured prominently in various moments of conviviality and enjoyment over an impressive 11 space expeditions



ISSpresso allowed the crews to enjoy espresso of the finest quality in space, just like at home: for the first time, the authentic Lavazza espresso was brewed in extreme conditions, where the principles of fluid dynamics are completely different from on Earth. The cream and coffee were not mixed, as on Earth, but were separated, with the traditional cup replaced by a special pouch. However, the preparation process remained the same, in order to guarantee the utmost practicality and simplicity for espresso which was then enjoyed through a straw. This innovative capsule system also allowed the astronauts to prepare caffè lungo, hot beverages and broth thanks to food rehydration. 

The value and innovation of the Italian ISSpresso project has been covered in media from more than 30 countries around the world, with a social media buzz that reached more than 950 million impressions, along with a presence at various prestigious events such as: “Impact. Innovate. Integrate”, the forum on the innovation and digitalisation of the mechanical engineering industry in Chicago; the show “Astronauts” at Cité de L’espace in Toulouse; Expo 2017 – Future Energy in Kazakhstan; and LIFE, a U.S. film set in space, in the International Space Station. Indeed, interest in the project has grown throughout the world, to the extent that the renowned Victoria & Albert Museum in London has chosen to include a model of the machine in the exhibit “The Future Starts Here”. There, beginning on May 12th 2018, ISSpresso will be on display alongside 100 other design objects that are contributing to shaping the world of tomorrow. 



About Lavazza Group


Established in 1895 in Turin, the Italian roaster has been owned by the Lavazza family for four generations. Among the world’s most important roasters, the Group currently operates in more than 90 countries through subsidiaries and distributors, exporting 60% of its production. Lavazza employs a total of about 3,000 people with a turnover of more than €1.9 billion in 2016. Lavazza invented the concept of blending — or in other words the art of combining different types of coffee from different geographical areas — in its early years and this continues to be a distinctive feature of most of its products.


The company also has over 25 years’ experience in production and sale of portioned coffee systems and products. It was the first Italian business to offer capsule espresso systems.


Lavazza operates in all business segments: at home, away-from-home and office coffee service, always with a focus on innovation in consumption technologies and systems. Lavazza has been able to develop its brand awareness through important partnerships perfectly in tune with its brand internationalization strategy, such as those in the world of sport with the Grand Slam tennis tournaments, and those in fields of art and culture with prestigious museums like New York’s Guggenheim Museum, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection Venice, and The Hermitage State Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.


As the company continues on a strategic globalization path, the Lavazza Group has acquired local jewels in key markets such as France’s Carte Noire (2015), Denmark’s Merrild (2015) and North America’s Kicking Horse Coffee (2017). Additionally, in 2017 the Group amplified its distribution reach with the acquisition of France’s Espresso Service Proximité and Italy’s Nims.



Founded in 2008, Argotec is an Italian aerospace engineering company which offers research, innovation and development services and products aimed at various fields: engineering, information technology, systems integration, human space flights and operations, solutions for the renewable energy sector, production of space food for European astronauts, and design and manufacturing of small satellites. The company’s certified instructors train European astronauts and flight controllers at the European Astronaut Center in Cologne. Argotec also performs research work in many areas of the aerospace industry and is one of the main players in various projects to design and develop thermal and fluid dynamic systems for the International Space Station. Argotec has always focused its R&D activity on the aerospace engineering sector to develop innovative systems and services whose application can contribute to improving living conditions on Earth. These are the principles underpinning the development of ISSpresso and several highly efficient thermal systems, as well as many other payloads and systems for space.