A SpaceX supply ship has delivered the first espresso machine designed exclusively for astronauts to the International Space Station.
Italy provided the espresso maker for Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, who has been stuck with instant coffee since her mission began in November. Cristoforetti said she cannot wait to try space espresso.
The espresso machine is three months late because of the backlog created after last year's loss of a supply ship in a launch explosion. With the Italian astronaut returning home next month, any further delay would have meant she would have missed the espresso machine.
The space station crew captured the Dragon capsule, which holds more than 1,800kg of much-needed food, experiments and equipment, with the help of a giant robot arm this morning – three days after its Florida launch.
"It's been amazing," Cristoforetti said, after snaring the Dragon over the Pacific. "Lots of science and even coffee's in there, so that's pretty exciting."
Among the newly arrived research materials are experiments for American astronaut Scott Kelly, who is just a few weeks into a one-year mission, which will be a record for Nasa.
The Dragon will remain at the orbiting lab until around May 21, when it will be released full of experiments and discarded equipment for return to Earth. It is the only supply ship capable of bringing items back.
Meanwhile, SpaceX has released a video showing its first-stage booster landing on an ocean platform shortly after Tuesday's lift-off, before then tipping over in flames. It was the Californian company's third attempt to fly a booster rocket to the platform stationed off Florida's north-eastern coast.
SpaceX chief Elon Musk said the platform – dubbed Just Read the Instructions – endured only minor damage and that the next attempt will be in June on the planned SpaceX supply run for Nasa.
Musk, a billionaire entrepreneur who also runs the Tesla electric car maker, wants to reuse his rockets to bring down the cost of spaceflight.