Space Agencies Find New Use for 'Leonardo'

HOUSTON, March 2 (UPI) — U.S. and Italian space agency officials say they have found a new use for an existing Multi-Purpose Logistics Module known as “Leonardo.”

The officials said the Italian-built module has been flown inside the payload bays of NASA space shuttles for more than a decade, aiding in the delivery of supplies to the International Space Station. Now, Leonardo will be used as a permanent module aboard the ISS.

NASA said Leonardo will undergo modifications to increase the amount of mass it can carry to orbit. Then the supply-laden module will be flown aboard shuttle Discovery during the STS-133 mission in September and permanently attached to the station.

“The added space within (Leonardo) will enable efficient positioning of experiments throughout the station complex,” NASA said, including experiments in fluid physics, materials science, biology, biotechnology and other microgravity research.

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