Italian Module To Become Permanent Addition to ISS

by

NASA and the Italian Space Agency announced Feb. 26 that Leonardo, one of the Italian-built pressurized logistics modules used on the space shuttle for nearly a decade to transfer cargo to and from the international space station (ISS), will become a permanent addition to the orbital outpost late this year.

NASA plans to deliver Leonardo during the STS-133 mission, the shuttle’s last planned flight, now slated for September. But before the Space Shuttle Discovery flies the fully laden Leonardo to the ISS and leaves it there to provide additional storage space, the module will undergo modifications to increase the amount of mass it can carry and to ensure safe, long-term operation.

The modified module, renamed the Permanent Logistics Module, also will be able to accommodate various microgravity experiments, NASA said in a press release.