The Art Of The Astronaut Coffee Break

When it comes to coffee breaks, we all enjoy a nice view to go with our lattes. If great views are anything to go by, astronauts aboard the International Space Station will inarguably be crowned the new kings of sip ‘n stare. On 4/15, the six-man crew took delivery of an experimental coffee machine custom-made by Italian company Lavazza for use in space, as part of a huge, 5000-lb grocery list the astronauts were scheduled to receive.

The spacecraft making the delivery, awesomely named “Dragon,” was manufactured by SpaceX, which is owned by Tesla CEO/founder and PayPal magnate Elon Musk. The Dragon arrived at the orbiting Space Station two days after it set out, where it was grabbed by a robot arm and docked. The station was becoming low on supplies due to the fact that a previous supply ship, made by a different company, was blown to bits in a launch explosion last October. Dragon was originally scheduled to make its trip before Christmas of last year, but was stalled due to rocket propulsion issues.

The crew was feeling the toll of the unexpected circumstances; the condiment cabinet, for example, was empty. In addition to the groceries and aforementioned Lavazza “ISSpresso” machine (pun lovers, curb your enthusiasm), which allows crew members to use cups in space, on an astronaut coffee brea. Dragon also brought variable-prescription eyeglasses. Astronauts living in space for long periods of time undergo fluid shifting, the phenomenon in which their bodily fluids shift position due to the lack of gravity, which seems to lead to farsightedness. NASA is still studying the effects of fluid shift on humans, but at least the astronauts now won’t have to worry about losing their vision.

Dragon, which is a recyclable spacecraft, was scheduled to land on the 14th, and it did. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the craft was destroyed at landing. It tipped over post-touchdown, according to Elon Musk’s Twitter. Arguably the most interesting among the bizarre contraptions related to this tale, Dragon takes mankind one step closer to a fully recyclable spacecraft and the future of space travel while delivering life-saving supplies to a hungry crew, gunning for an astronaut coffee break.

This may not be the kind of food that astronauts can consume, but enjoyably, painfully long for up in space: