Astronauts Drink Coffee Made From…WHAT?

In 2008, astronauts had their 'coffee' from pouches. In the front, left to right, crew members Michael Finke and Chris Ferguson, with Eric Boe and Donald Pettit in the back. (NASA)

In 2008, astronauts had their ‘coffee’ brewed and transported from Earth. In the front, left to right, crew members Michael Finke and Chris Ferguson, with Eric Boe and Donald Pettit in the back. (NASA)

Astronauts Drink Coffee Made From…WHAT?

The cost to transport drinking water to space used to cost around $15,000 per pint, so engineers got to work. In an effort to reduce excess waste and weight, NASA started a recycling program aboard the International Space Station. A purification system was implemented, and by 2009, Astronauts were recycling their own waste, turning it into potable drinking water.

Earlier this year, ESA Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti brought on-board the ISSpresso machine, a promising new contraption that would bring ‘real coffee’ to station crew members. How is it made? According to NASA and Italian Space Agency operational protocols:

ISSpresso is installed near a UOP that supplies 120V DC power. After ISSpresso is physically and electrically connected, a Water Pouch is installed, and the unit is powered on. In order to utilize the ISSpresso, a NASA standard drink bag is installed, along with a capsule containing the beverage item that the crew member wishes to drink. After the item has been brewed, the used capsule and the drink bag are removed. ISSpresso is then powered off, the Water Pouch removed. ISSpresso is then disconnected from the UOP, and it is removed and stowed.

In other words,  that ‘special brew’ is derived from none-other than astronaut urine.

 

Commander Kelly shows us what drinking your own recycled pee turned into fresh coffee looks like aboard the International Space Station. (Twitter, NASA)

Commander Kelly shows us what drinking your own recycled pee turned into fresh coffee looks like aboard the International Space Station. (Twitter, NASA)

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Staff Writer

Leo Ashcraft

A retired broadcast engineer, talk show host, news reporter - I have done everything there is to do in the radio broadcast business. I worked a year in television. I left that as my true passion has always been radio - plus I got tired of hearing - you have a face for radio.. I hope you enjoy my articles! Be sure to share them excessively on facebook - like our page and bug your friends with invites!

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