Science Caturday: Coffee Cats in Spaaaaace

 

houston

Coffee’s here! SpaceX’s Dragon cargo spacecraft made its rendezvous with the International Space Station yesterday, delivering food, scientific experiments and other supplies, including the first espresso machine in space.

The machine, called ISSPresso, was produced as a joint venture between the Italian coffee company Lavazza, the engineering firm Argotec and the Italian Space Agency. Lavazza, which expects the machine to operate for several years in orbit, will supply the ISS with capsules of coffee year round, so they never run out – a good plan if they want any science to get done up there!

The honor of brewing the first espresso in space will go to Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, who has somehow been surviving on instant coffee until now.

(Our caffeine-deprived space kitty was originally designed by Ben Ducker for British company O2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Science Caturday: Funding Lags for Cosmocats

nasabudget

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko lifted off Friday from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to spend almost a year on the International Space Station.  Kelly’s long sojourn in space will beat the U.S. record for longest-duration spaceflight by more than 100 days. Kelly and Kornienko will be closely monitored for studies aimed at determining the effect of long-term spaceflight on the human body. Former astronaut Mark Kelly, Scott Kelly’s identical twin, will be monitored on Earth as a control subject for the unusual yearlong experiment.

Still no word on when a cat will get a chance to go to space, and from the looks of Commander Kibble (above), the technology and funding are still lagging for this important scientific endeavor.

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