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Multi-Purpose Logistics Module
The Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) is an element of the International Space Station (ISS). The MPLM allows transfer of pressurized cargo and payloads. It is launched on the Space Shuttle and berthed to the Unity Module, where supplies are offloaded and finished experiments are loaded. The MPLM is then reberthed in the Shuttle for return to Earth. The MPLM will be used numerous times during the lifetime of the ISS.
The MPLM is provided to NASA under contract by Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI), the Italian Space Agency, and is therefore considered to be a United States element of the ISS. Three MPLMs have been delivered to NASA and are named Leonardo, Raffaello, and Donatello. Each empty MPLM is approximately 21 feet long, 15 feet in diameter, weighs 4.5 tons, and can deliver up to 10 tons of cargo to the ISS.
The MPLM has been, in some form or another, part of the design for the International Space Station since it was the design for Space Station Freedom. Initially, it was to be built by Boeing, but in 1992, the Italians announced that they would build a "Mini Pressurized Logistics Module", able to carry 4500 kg of cargo. After the 1993 redesign, the length was doubled and it was renamed the "Multi-Purpose Logistics Module"
- Length - 4.4 m
- Width - 4.57 m
- Mass - 4,082 kg empty; 13,154 kg loaded
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