WASHINGTON — 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.
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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