Encyclopedia Astronautica

Multi-Purpose Logistics Module - MPLM. Inside the MPLM. The module carries sixteen International Standard Payload Racks.
Credit: NASA via Marcus Lindroos
American manned space station reusable supply module. Launched and returned to earth, 2001-2011. When the International Space Station (ISS) was redesigned again in 1993, it was decided to expand the original Mini-Pressurized Logistics Module design.

The new Multi-Purpose Logistics Module was twice as long and could carry 9000 kg of cargo to ISS. The European Space Agency also became a partner, since Alenia Spazio would use the same pressurized module and some thermal subsystems in the Columbus Orbiting Facility as well. In return, ESA provided three environmental control and life-support system units for use in the Multipurpose Logistics Module. The module carried sixteen International Standard Payload Racks.

Italy delivered the first 'Leonardo' Multi-Purpose Logistics Module to NASA in July 1998. Two more module -- 'Rafaelo' and 'Donatello' -- would also be delivered under the $300-million contract. Italian astronauts would receive greater use of the Station as well as crew training for two more ASI astronauts in return for the MPLM.

Article by Marcus Lindroos

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Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • International Space Station American manned space station. Development from 1994. Assembled in orbit from 1998, with completion expected 2010. In 1987-1993 the Russians successfully assembled and operated the 124-metric ton Mir station. More...

See also
  • US Space Stations Wernher von Braun brought Noordung's rotating station design with him from Europe. This he popularized in the early 1950's in selling manned space flight to the American public. By the late 1950's von Braun's team favoured the spent-stage concept - which eventually flew as Skylab. By the mid-1960's, NASA was concentrating on modular, purpose-built, zero-G stations. These eventually flew as the International Space Station. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • ESA European agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. European Space Agency, Europe. More...
  • Alenia Italian manufacturer of rockets and spacecraft. Alenia Spazio, Italy. More...

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