Crested Butte-based First Ascent coffee goes to space with NASA
What's happening: Nearly 260 eight-ounce servings of the award-winning quick brew are set to head to space Wednesday — roughly 260 miles off the grid — on NASA's SpaceX Crew-5 mission to the International Space Station.
- The Colorado company was selected for the cargo list thanks to recommendations from an astronaut who tried the brand on a backpacking trip, Matador Network reports.
Flashback: First Ascent, founded in 2018, gained popularity in the backpacking world after Outside Magazine named its Ethiopian instant coffee one of the best in the business in May 2019.
- "A few of the brands we tried were just too weak to count as fuel for all-day adventuring, but not this one," the magazine noted. "It will get you moving, even if coyote howls kept you up all night."
How it works: Much differently than sipping coffee on Earth because of a lack of gravity.
- First Ascent provides the grounds, and NASA's Food System Lab repackages them in a foil pouch with a valve.
- Astronauts attach the valve to a hot water dispenser that mixes the grounds, then stick a straw in to slurp the coffee.
What they're saying: "I like the idea that there's an astronaut up there drinking our coffee who's super psyched before they start a day of doing whatever astronauts do on a space station," First Ascent founder and co-owner Mark Drucker told 5280.
- "We all imagine going to space and wondering what that would be like. … Now in our own way, we get to," added company owner Sam Higby.
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