packs first load to International Space Station
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."
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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:
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