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How To Make Espresso In Space

timothy posted about 5 months ago | from the they-finally-saw-airplane-II dept.

ISS 192

In a story that's sure to bring to the surface the long-debunked myth of an over-elaborate NASA quest to create a pen to operate in space, Wired reports that the coffee situation aboard the International Space Station is about to improve: the station will be getting a 20kg, custom designed Lavazza espresso machine, to be delivered along with Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti. Among other differences from terrestrial espresso machines: the resulting beverage must be pumped into a straw-friendly bag rather than a demitasse. I wonder if there could be some way to adapt a (much lighter) Aeropress for space purposes, as a backup.

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Putting the "Star" in Starbucks... (4, Funny)

NF6X (725054) | about 5 months ago | (#47242777)

Now I want a machine that can make an iced latte in zero G.

Re:Putting the "Star" in Starbucks... (4, Interesting)

quenda (644621) | about 5 months ago | (#47242903)

Last I heard, it cost around $20k/kg to lift cargo to orbit. Add in the extra weight of beans vs instant, and the world will finally see (albeit from a distance) coffee even more overpriced than Starbucks'.

Re:Putting the "Star" in Starbucks... (2)

TWX (665546) | about 5 months ago | (#47242939)

Between the price of the coffee and the price and complexity of the machines I thought that modern coffee shops were an example of the technological developments of the space program working their way back into terrestrial use...

Re:Putting the "Star" in Starbucks... (3, Funny)

Cryacin (657549) | about 5 months ago | (#47242957)

You use approximately 20g of coffee beans to make a shot. Thus, you are talking $400 per shot. And for this delivery price, you are serving Lavazza?!?

Re:Putting the "Star" in Starbucks... (1)

TWX (665546) | about 5 months ago | (#47242983)

Well, things do become somewhat less expensive when their tech developments no longer involve actually going to space...

Re:Putting the "Star" in Starbucks... (3, Interesting)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 5 months ago | (#47243145)

The machine is a Lavazza. One would hope the beans are something else.

Re:Putting the "Star" in Starbucks... (1)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | about 5 months ago | (#47243825)

It had better be kopi luwak for that price.

Re:Putting the "Star" in Starbucks... (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 5 months ago | (#47243979)

The machine is developed by argotec. I would assume that the capsules are Lavazza.

Re:Putting the "Star" in Starbucks... (2)

jonwil (467024) | about 5 months ago | (#47243187)

The astronaut going into space is an Italian. One would assume he would have advised the relavent space agencies on how to select the best coffee to send up there.

Re: Putting the "Star" in Starbucks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47243525)

Red Bird would do. http://redbirdcoffee.com/products/red-bird-espresso

Re:Putting the "Star" in Starbucks... (1)

timothy (36799) | about 5 months ago | (#47243619)

"One would assume he would have advised the relavent space agencies on how to select the best coffee to send up there."

She :)

Re:Putting the "Star" in Starbucks... (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about 5 months ago | (#47243921)

well the italian aspect certainly explains why they would spend the 20kg on a coffee machine.

and it's a capsule machine. but it has pipes that could withstand 400 bar of pressure. Why? I haven't got the slightest clue. but that still doesn't explain the weight. for the dimensions the frame has to be half inch steel or some shit like that(they actually claim its for some backup system, the weight, I don't know if it has some fluid suckup machine or something in case it leaks).

on the other hand, since the capsules can contain other stuff, you can also use it for a hot chocolate.

20 kg's to orbit for a fucking capsule coffee machine to make coffee that you drink out of a bag.

but I still can't get my mind around the fact that they used space age highest technology for making something that's 20 kilos and pumps water out of one bag, heats it up and pushes it into another.

Re:Putting the "Star" in Starbucks... (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 5 months ago | (#47243997)

If they sponsored any of the process then it's a bit rude to use something else.

Re:Putting the "Star" in Starbucks... (1)

daninaustin (985354) | about 5 months ago | (#47242987)

Where did you get the $20k price? I am finding $60-$80k/kg.

Re:Putting the "Star" in Starbucks... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#47243081)

Maybe China...

Ok, that joke's getting old.

Re:Putting the "Star" in Starbucks... (3, Funny)

NF6X (725054) | about 5 months ago | (#47243053)

I'm talking lattes here wait until you see the bill for lifting the cow into space!

You're right (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47243193)

The feds should have spent that blowing up more civilians and occupying places that don't want us there. Over $5 trillion wasted, and Iraq is about to fall again. Fuck, I'll take coffee in space any day of the week over what that stuff is usually spent on.

Re: Putting the "Star" in Starbucks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47243551)

Screw that machine. Gimme a station ops manual, the tail end of a roll of duct tape, a straw and my stash baggie. We' ll have some damn good concentrate and build whatever hiptster coffee you want.

Re: Putting the "Star" in Starbucks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47243565)

.....forgot the Aeropress. Most important part of the post.

yuck epresso (0)

iggymanz (596061) | about 5 months ago | (#47242791)

can they make lattes. no interest if they can not

Re:yuck epresso (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47242805)

No syrups or whipped cream either? I'd hardly call it coffee!

Re:yuck epresso (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#47243085)

I never got the whole syrup thing. Coffee needs no flavoring. It has a flavor already. Its flavor is called COFFEE.

Re:yuck epresso (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about 5 months ago | (#47243133)

but combine with the other divine flavor and caffenie/theobromine agent in the universe, and you have mocha

Re:yuck epresso (2)

camperdave (969942) | about 5 months ago | (#47243409)

Coffee needs no flavoring. It has a flavor already. Its flavor is called COFFEE.

Is that you, Sid? [userfriendly.org]

Re:yuck epresso (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#47243685)

No. But I can very well relate to him. I'm old, jaded and can remember the times when life was good and code was C.

Re:yuck epresso (1)

oobayly (1056050) | about 5 months ago | (#47244037)

Denis Leary - Coffee flavoured coffee [youtube.com] .

Re:yuck epresso (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47242819)

No need. They only send REAL men and worn into space.

Re:yuck epresso (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#47243089)

Then why the espresso machine? REAL men chew the beans.

Re:yuck epresso (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 5 months ago | (#47243167)

REAL men chew the beans.

Hard guys pass the beans through their own intestinal tract, Kopi Luwak style, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K... [wikipedia.org] . . .

. . . and then chew them.

Re:yuck epresso (1)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about 5 months ago | (#47243123)

No need. They only send REAL men and worn into space.

What the hell's a "worn"?

Re:yuck epresso (2)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about 5 months ago | (#47243227)

A worm/human hybrid-- they are similar in a lot of ways to to Dougal Dixon's Homo caelestis, but as with a lot o Biopreperat's work, the ethics are a bit muddled, so the worn program tries to keep a low profile.

Re:yuck epresso (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47242881)

Did anyone else read this as spoken in swish and ended with a limp wrist?

Re:yuck epresso (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about 5 months ago | (#47243039)

funny, I'm mainly a tea drinker but the pansy coffee drinkers at work can't take the smoked lapsang souchong and colonial black tea I like, say they're too strong

Re:yuck epresso (2, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#47243095)

Should introduce them to the coffee my mom used to make. The recipe for it ends in "and if the horseshoe sinks you didn't use enough coffee".

Re:yuck epresso (1)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about 5 months ago | (#47243137)

My brother always said his friend's family would make several pots of coffee per day, but not empty the old grounds until night. Just put a new scoopful on top. So the coffee got progressively more robust throughout the day.

Re:yuck epresso (3, Interesting)

Shinobi (19308) | about 5 months ago | (#47243147)

Heh, that sounds like the coffee made in Sweden or Finland.

It's always funny to see people from around europe and north america try to drink coffee as made in Sweden or Finland, while Swedes and Finns generally regard coffee made by anyone else as too watery.

When I was in Kosovo, with the Swedish KFOR unit, we had some people from the US 502nd PIR come over to to our PX/café to try our coffee, and most of them had to thin it out to drink it, they weren't used to having it that strong. And they didn't believe us when we told them that it was not a special military brewing, but instead just ordinary brewing as most swedes who drink coffee would appreciate it.

Common complaints from tourists is that even McDonalds and Starbucks coffee in Sweden is way too strong.

Re:yuck epresso (1)

CRCulver (715279) | about 5 months ago | (#47243255)

I must say, I really don't get what you mean by Finnish coffee being stronger. When I moved to Finland to study, after living for some time in espresso- and Turkish-coffee-dominated countries, I was surprised to see that Finns were using the same watery drip coffee process as Americans. The only really unusual thing about coffee here is that people drink rather more of it than elsewhere.

Re:yuck epresso (1)

billstewart (78916) | about 5 months ago | (#47243773)

After being exposed to Turkish coffee, my reaction has been "if the spoon falls over, your coffee's not strong enough."

But even when diluted by emigration to America, some parts of Scandinavian coffee culture remains. My experience with various church groups has been that the Lutherans (and spinoffs of Swedish Lutheranism) make better coffee than the Methodists I grew up with, and Southern Baptists make worse coffee (they're really iced tea people.)

Re:yuck epresso (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#47243339)

Ah. Now I get it why mom said the only good coffee she ever got (aside of her own) was during our stay in Sweden.

Personally, I do without coffee. But she pretty much couldn't exist without her 3-4 liters a day.

Re:yuck epresso (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47243023)

Milk makes me vomit. Of course I'd already be vomiting and freaking out. I wouldn't need espresso. Maybe Valium or a big doob. Has anybody smoked in space? You know it's going to come up at some point.

Re:yuck epresso (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47243151)

Has anybody smoked in space?

The crew of Apollo 1 smoked for a while, though not in space.

Plebs , the lot of you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47242815)

Non of this latte and syrup crap , macchiato master race

Re:Plebs , the lot of you (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 5 months ago | (#47243237)

>calls people plebs for adding crap to coffee
>drinks macchiato

Coffee black, or go home.

Just like other coffee multinationals (2)

hamster_nz (656572) | about 5 months ago | (#47242845)

I wonder if they will sell them special space-rated coffee beans at highly enflated prices in order to move any profits back to tax havens?

(See http://www.ukuncut.org.uk/targ... [ukuncut.org.uk] if you miss the joke)

Re:Just like other coffee multinationals (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#47243107)

Well, at least that ISS coffee's price will have some kind of justification. If you want to see coffee that works like printer ink (from the price model as well as the taste), check out this [wikipedia.org] .

Short black with one (4, Interesting)

aXis100 (690904) | about 5 months ago | (#47242863)

How do they add sugar!!!

Look, I love coffee as much as the next guy but when they are replacing 20kg of scientific payload with a 20kg coffee machine (plus the pods and waste management), they might have their priorities a little skewed. If they'd spent the money on produging a better freeze dried espresso, all of humanity could benefit.

Living in space is part of the science of space (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47243015)

Only when we can be human in space will we be successful.

Re:Short black with one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47243025)

How do they add sugar!!!

I'm guessing you're American.

Good coffee can be drunk black.

Notwithstanding taste, once you start adding sweeteners and dairy products, you're not in it for the taste of the coffee, but for the taste of the other stuff. To each his own, simply using beans and water can create a wonderful beverage which doesn't have to 'adulterated' with other ingredients.

Re:Short black with one (2)

OzPeter (195038) | about 5 months ago | (#47243045)

once you start adding sweeteners and dairy products

Americans don't add dairy products. Instead they add this thing called "creamer" for which I have no idea how it relates to a cow.

Plus, given that the nostalgic view that Americans as a culture have with regards to coffee revolves around brownish sludge in a piece of glassware that wouldn't look out of place in a laboratory; I'm not even sure they're starting with coffee.

Re:Short black with one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47243459)

Judging by the content of your message, you like your beans astringent.

Re:Short black with one (1)

billstewart (78916) | about 5 months ago | (#47243803)

Traditionally we use half&half (causing the rest of the world to ask for a translation; it's a thinner cream that's halfway between milk and whipping cream.) It's available in little ultrapasteurized single-servings as well as fresh.

But if keeping the dairy products refrigerated isn't convenient, there are powdered imitations that deserve the contempt you've expressed, and liquid imitations that are excuses for corn syrup and artificial flavors, and also non-dairy creamers for people who can't tolerate lactose or want something that's kosher to use at a meat meal.

My high school chemistry/physics teacher would boil water in a beaker over a bunsen burner to make his instant coffee with. The water was hard enough that the beaker had a sludge just from that.

Re:Short black with one (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#47243109)

It's a Lavazza machine.

So by your definition it should be absolutely impossible to drink it black. The question stands.

Re:Short black with one (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 5 months ago | (#47244015)

The question stands.

Or floats :)

Re:Short black with one (3, Interesting)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 5 months ago | (#47243365)

Personally, I prefer mine with cream and sugar because I find that for me it enhances the flavor. In fact, I add raw sugar to the half and half for my morning espresso before foaming it so that even the foam is sweetened. If you like yours "black and bitter," have at it, but don't expect me to join you.

Re:Short black with one (3, Insightful)

jatoo (2393402) | about 5 months ago | (#47243677)

If you like yours "black and bitter," have at it, but don't expect me to join you.

The idea is that good coffee isn't bitter.

Re:Short black with one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47243857)

You should try coffee some time, you'd probably like it.

If the stuff you are drinking is bitter, then you are doing it wrong. Good coffee is strong, rich, with an aftertaste that lasts for minutes, and no bitterness. Good coffee tastes as good as it smells. Really.

You need:

  • Good beans (arabica only. No robusta whatsoever.)
  • Properly roasted
  • French press (for light roasts) or
  • Espresso machine (important that it has consistent temperature)

It's not actually hard to make good coffee. You don't need to be a barrista to do it.

Just use good beans; don't overheat the water; and don't let it stew.

But, I have never had an even acceptable cup of coffee anywhere in North America. Other countries make great coffee. I'm sure there must be decent coffee somewhere in NA, but so far it's eluded me.

Re:Short black with one (0)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 5 months ago | (#47243943)

Is Cafe Gevalia Espresso Roast [gevalia.com] good enough quality for you? It's the only blend I ever use. And, of course, "black and bitter" is just an old expression to describe coffee straight from the pot with nothing added.

Re:Short black with one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47243035)

You obviously don't understand the importance of morale. In small, confined spaces shared with other humans, small comforts take on incredible significance. Real, fresh espresso is amazingly delicious - freeze drying can never replace it.

The joke I heard on the tour of the diesel submarine (the USS Blueback) permanently parked in OMSI is that the most important part of the submarine is the ice cream machine.

Re:Short black with one (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 5 months ago | (#47243247)

You can get a decent cup of coffee from an Aeropress, and the upside is it takes up neither a lot of space nor a lot of mass. I think all told the whole thing is ~200g; it also makes some pretty good coffee.

Re:Short black with one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47243325)

Would an Aeropress work in low gravity?

Re:Short black with one (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about 5 months ago | (#47243527)

There's nothing dangerous about a floating bubble of boiling water, is there?

Re:Short black with one (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47243153)

Oh yes, I'm sure there's just soooo much important Earth shattering "science" happening up there. What is it this time? Maggots in free fall? Tomato seeds from high school students?

Re:Short black with one (2)

hubie (108345) | about 5 months ago | (#47243321)

They're trying to figure out if ants can be trained to sort tiny screws in space.

Re:Short black with one (4, Funny)

M8e (1008767) | about 5 months ago | (#47243669)

And I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords!

Re:Short black with one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47243159)

A launch on an Atlas V rocket will easily exceed $10,000 per kilogram to launch a payload in to anything resembling an earth orbit. That's at least a $200,000 espresso machine. On the other hand, we just spent more than $5 trillion we didn't have over more than ten years blowing civilians up and occupying countries that didn't want us there, only to have them fall again the minute we even started to leave. Coffee in space suddenly sounds more appealing. Good on NASA. Coffee in motherfucking space; it's easily among the top 10% of reasonable US federal government expenditures despite being technically unnecessary.

Re:Short black with one (1)

jonwil (467024) | about 5 months ago | (#47243223)

I cant find an exact figure but I know the cost to send it up on a SpaceX Falcon Rocket is a fair bit less than $10k per KG.

Re:Short black with one (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 5 months ago | (#47243449)

Wikipedia says $4109/kg [wikipedia.org]

Re:Short black with one (1)

WhoBeI (3642741) | about 5 months ago | (#47243189)

You save it on training time. I would take me, oh, 3-4 months of constant training before I could convince my brain that crappy freeze dried stuff is drinkable.

Re:Short black with one (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 5 months ago | (#47244011)

but when they are replacing 20kg of scientific payload

I think they have spare capacity by now (but of course it does mean extra fuel).

But Why?! (1)

felixrising (1135205) | about 5 months ago | (#47242867)

Because it keeps you sharp! Of course, taking a note out of Captain Janeway's playbook. https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

Re:But Why?! (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#47243113)

All nice and dandy, but now we have to find a way to produce Earl Grey Tea, too.

And don't you dare come along with teabags!

Re: But Why?! (1)

Teranolist (3658793) | about 5 months ago | (#47244057)

Old socks? Would make it nice and cheesy

7 psi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47242921)

Water doesn't get hot enough at 7 psi to make (good) coffee. The 'spresso 'chine will produce steam at above ambient pressure, but how much above?

Re:7 psi (1)

acvolt (241850) | about 5 months ago | (#47243333)

The Space Station is at 14.7 PSI (sea level). It will boil at 373.15 Kelvin just like in Miami or Hawaii.

See: https://web.archive.org/web/20061114010931/http://www.nasaexplores.com/show2_5_8a.php?id=04-032&gl=58

Re:7 psi (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 5 months ago | (#47243415)

Not doubting you but it doesn't matter what the ambient pressure is kept at.

This will be an entirely enclosed system. That mean it can be presurized independent of the local atmosphere. Steam escaping would condisate potentially causing problems not to mention gravity anr floating water. So it is enclosed and likely already able to handle its own pressure containment.

Re:7 psi (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 5 months ago | (#47244045)

Steam escaping would condisate

It's a pressure vessel full of sweating and breathing people with the outside skin temperature probably in single digits of Kelvin most of the time. Condensation is already a given. Dealing with escaped liquids (like balls of water+ethylene glycol coolant the size of someone's torso as was seen on Mir) was part of the design criteria before construction of the first module commenced.

Re:7 psi (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 5 months ago | (#47244059)

Don't take the other comment as criticism - I'm just commenting on how there are already liquid problems being dealt with, and I do see you point about not adding another liquid problem is a good idea.

Seems kinda extravagant (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47242931)

" to be delivered along with Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti " it requires a barista?

Re:Seems kinda extravagant (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 5 months ago | (#47243163)

When you buy such expensive equipment as a space espresso machine, you get an operator with it for free!

Re:Seems kinda extravagant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47243399)

When you buy such expensive equipment as a space espresso machine, you get an operator with it for free!

I'd have paid double what I paid for my espresso machine if it came with Samantha Cristoforetti.

It's an Espresso from piss (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47242981)

NASA makes drinking water from piss up there. I wonder if it has repercussions for the taste buds. Espisso?

composition and concentrative properties of human urine [nasa.gov]

By the way my latest OSHW machine can do drinking water from urine too:

Twibright Distillcooker [twibright.com]

Re: It's an Espresso from piss (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47242993)

Beats truck stop coffee.

Not by much mind you.

Re:It's an Espresso from piss (1, Troll)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#47243117)

Considering it's a Lavazza machine, I doubt that using piss as water will make much of a difference in taste.

Re:It's an Espresso from piss (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 5 months ago | (#47243253)

People usually dont appreciate advertising on slashdot. Im sure you have great goals for this thing, but this isnt the place for spam. Go to kickstarter, indiegogo, or another crowdfunding site if you're looking for donations.

Re:It's an Espresso from piss (1)

Krishnoid (984597) | about 5 months ago | (#47243953)

NASA makes drinking water from piss up there. I wonder if it has repercussions for the taste buds.

I guess it provides some perspective on someone getting caught on surveillance taking a whiz in the office coffeepot.

caffeine potency in zero g (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47243061)

What's the potency of caffeine zero g? Is it more or less effective than at 1G?

Would be lame if they took too much coffee to Mars so testing it in NEO is a good eval.

I find this heartwarming (1)

TigerPlish (174064) | about 5 months ago | (#47243093)

For some reason, I find the idea of having a shot of real, hot espresso in space heartwarming.

A little bit of home, when you're up so very high above it..

a 20kg pod machine (0)

nowsharing (2732637) | about 5 months ago | (#47243105)

Espresso at zero gravity is just not possible. This is simply going to be the world's most expensive pod machine. I would be interested in knowing how it ended up weighing 20kg though. Surely that must be incorrect.

a 20kg pod machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47243161)

surely nasa should know that it would be more cost effective to make this machine out of lite weight materials such as titanium, aluminum and carbon fiber as opposed to lifting a commercially available stainless steel unit into orbit.

Re:a 20kg pod machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47243165)

I'm surprised they don't just 3D print a machine in orbit. I thought this was the brave new non-Luddite world?

Re:a 20kg pod machine (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 5 months ago | (#47243383)

Considering how much it would cost to develop such a machine for such a small niche market, this is probably the most cost-effective solution.

Breaking News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47243257)

The coffee machine on the space station has stopped working, the crew must be evacuated immediately.

Oh, Timothy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47243315)

You really don't read what you write, do you?

the coffee situation abooard the International Space Station is about the improve

Air pressure (1, Insightful)

rossdee (243626) | about 5 months ago | (#47243373)

They would have to boil the water in a pressurized container

You can't even get a good cup of tea or coffee on Mt Everest, let alone in space.

Re:Air pressure (2)

cjameshuff (624879) | about 5 months ago | (#47243429)

They *are* in a pressurized container. The ISS maintains a pressurized environment equivalent to sea level on Earth.

RTFA (was Air pressure) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47243451)

The article and Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iss) claim the ISS operates at ~ 1 atmosphere.

Re:Air pressure (3, Informative)

camperdave (969942) | about 5 months ago | (#47243523)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISS_ECLSS#Atmosphere [wikipedia.org]

Normal air pressure on the ISS is 101.3 kPa (14.7 psi);[4] the same as at sea level on Earth. It would hardly do for astronauts to get the bends upon arrival at the ISS.

Re:Air pressure (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | about 5 months ago | (#47244001)

Yes, but not for the reasons you think.
Pressure is not the issue, the vessel is pressurized (else the astronauts would asphyxiate quite quickly).
Gravity is the issue. They don't want boiling hot liquid dancing around in a space ship.

Hamster wheel solution (2)

Swordfish (86310) | about 5 months ago | (#47243771)

One way to get around the difficulties with zero gravity for eating would be to install a "hamster wheel" inside the space station which would give at least the Moon's level of gravity, i.e. about a sixth of Earth's gravity, or the surface gravity of Mars, which is about 38% of Earth's [wikipedia.org] . Of course, this would disturb zero-gravity experiments due to the inevitable "gravity noise" from the hamster wheel, but some sort of isolation mechanism could be introduced. After all, whenever astronauts move around, they are introducing "gravity noise" into zero-gravity experiments. So it can't be that bad. And the hamster wheel could be helpful with gyroscopic stabilization. Within the hamster wheel, astronauts could eat normal Earth food, and do other things for which gravity would assist.
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