The “moving van” for the International Space Station — the Italian-built
Multi-Purpose Logistics Module — will carry its first load of equipment and
supplies into space with the launch of the Expedition 2 aboard Space Shuttle
Discovery flight STS-102.

“Now we fly,” said Randy McClendon, logistics module project manager at
NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. “We take great pride
in seeing another part of Space Station become active.”

McClendon has managed the international effort to build and deliver the
Multi-Purpose Logistics Module. On its maiden flight, the module — an
essential component in the re-stocking of the Space Station – will carry
equipment and supplies for the U.S. Laboratory Destiny.

The Marshall Center led a seven-year-long, design-to-delivery effort to
build the modules. In exchange for building the modules, the Italian Space
Agency was granted research time on the Space Station. Other participants in
the program included the European Space Agency and other NASA centers.

Three modules were built to serve a projected 10-year, 25-flight lifetime
support of the Space Station. The modules are named for three great figures
in Italian history.

Italian Space Agency officials designated the first module “Leonardo” in
honor of Leonardo da Vinci. The other two modules are “Raffaello,” in honor
of Raffaello Sanzio, and “Donatello,” in honor of Donato di Niccolo di Betto

The logistics module is an un-piloted, reusable cargo carrier. The
cylindrical module is approximately 21 feet (6.4 meters) long and 15 feet
(4.5 meters) in diameter, weighing almost 4.5 tons (4,082 kilograms). It
can carry up to 10 tons (9,072 kilograms) of cargo packed into 16 standard
Space Station equipment racks.

To function as an attached Station module, as well as a cargo transport, the
logistics modules also include components that provide life support, fire
detection and suppression, electrical distribution, and computer functions.
Eventually, the logistics modules will carry refrigerators or freezers for
transporting experiment samples and food to and from the Station.

To track the progress of the Multi-purpose Logistics Module, and other Space
Station activities from the Marshall Center, visit:

The Marshall Space Flight Center is NASA’s premier organization for
development of space transportation and propulsion systems, NASA’s leader in
microgravity research — unique scientific studies conducted in the
near-weightlessness of space — and NASA’s leader for advanced large optics
manufacturing technology.