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Tue, Mar 02, 2010

NASA, Italian Space Agency Repurpose 'Leonardo' Module

Will Increase Space Allocated To Science On The Station

NASA and the Italian Space Agency announced a new use for an existing Multi Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) known as "Leonardo." It will be transformed into a Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM) for the International Space Station.

Leonardo Module On Shuttle Robotic Arm

For nearly a decade, the Italian-built logistic modules have flown inside the payload bays of NASA's shuttle fleet, successfully delivering vital hardware and supplies to the station. The new use for this proven carrier will enhance the use of the station. Leonardo will undergo modifications to ensure safe, long-term operation as the PMM, and to increase the amount of mass it can carry to orbit. The supply-laden PMM will be flown aboard shuttle Discovery during the STS-133 mission in September and attached to the station.

The added space within the PMM will enable efficient positioning of experiments throughout the station complex. Inside the PMM, experiments in fluid physics, materials science, biology, biotechnology and other microgravity experiments may be conducted.



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