Behind the scenes: The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that sent our coffee into space

By Jeff Ayers — / Death Wish Coffee Blog


Maybe you haven't heard, but Death Wish Coffee is the World's Strongest Coffee. But now, thanks to the amazing people at NASA and retired astronaut and artist Nicole Stott, we are the strongest coffee in the galaxy, currently on the International Space Station (ISS). We threw a party, and I got to head down to NASA Kennedy Space Center to see the rocket launch in person. Full video recap at the bottom of this page.

I applied to the NASA Social Event for the CRS-15 resupply mission to the Space Station and was beyond excited to learn that I was chosen out of over 500 applicants. I was able to tour the facilities at NASA including the massive Vehicle Assembly Building where many or the rockets, the Space Shuttle and even parts of the space station Mir were built.

Vehicle Assemble Building (from the bus)

Vehicle Assemble Building interior

Some of the scientists that were sending experiments and new technology to the Space Station along with our coffee were on hand tell us more about their projects and take questions. I got to meet the guys who developed CIMON, the new artificial intelligence system that will be working with astronaut Alexander Gerst on the space station. It's a floating soccer ball!

CIMON and its creators

CIMON in action

I also got to talk with some of the people involved in the ECOSTRESS technology being installed on the Space Station to help measure the world's agriculture in regards to water levels. I had to ask about how this could help out coffee farmers, and was pleased to learn that they were also thinking of them. This incredible new scientific endeavor will be able to help farmers all over the globe.

ECOSTRESS Team Members

The position of ECOSTRESS on the Space Station

Being able to witness the launch from only 3.5 away was breathtaking in itself, but it happened at the perfect time because just as the sun rose in the sky at the break of dawn, the rocket was exiting our atmosphere in a stunning display of technology and beauty. After talking with the guides running the NASA Social event they all agreed they had never seen a launch quite like this one, which was extra exciting because Death Wish Coffee was a part of it!

A few different views I had of the Falcon 9 launch

The incredible NASA Social group and rocket launch

Finally that day after the launch, I was able to meet Nicole Stott in person, and Nicole and her family took me around NASA Kennedy Space Center for the day which was the perfect bookend to this amazing journey.

Nicole Stott - The Artistic Astronaut

Retired NASA astronauts Nicole Stott (left) and Jon McBride (right)

The Space Shuttle Atlantis at NASA Kennedy Space Center

This all started by just saying something out into the universe, in the hopes that it might come true. I wanted to get an astronaut as a guest on the podcast, and found Nicole Stott's website when I researched artists in space (she was the first astronaut to paint in space.) That led to a conversation about drinking coffee in space, and my co-host Dustin joking about how we could get Death Wish Coffee to the Space Station. Now, a year later, that is all a reality. I have learned that sometimes just letting an idea you have out in to the world, saying it into the universe, will give it legs and will it into existence. Dream big, dream often, and never stop dreaming. 

RELATED: Our Journey To Space

Check out the video below for the full recap of my adventure to NASA for the rocket launch:

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