NASA set to relocate space station module

CAPE CANAVERAL: NASA robotics officers on Wednesday morning plan to relocate an International Space Station storage module, the biggest change to the station’s structure since its assembly was completed in 2011.


Teams in Houston will command the station’s 58-foot, Canadian-built robotic arm to pull the Permanent Multi-purpose Module, or PMM, from the Unity node’s Earth-facing port to the Tranquility node’s forward port. It should take a few hours, with NASA TV coverage starting at 8 a.m.

The vacated port will become a spare docking site for commercial crew capsules that could blast off with astronauts from the Space Coast as soon as 2017.

Before the PMM took up residence on the station and was given that acronym, it was better known as Leonardo one of several Italian-built Multi-Purpose Logistics Modules, or MPLMs, cared for in Kennedy Space Center’s Space Station Processing Facility.

Shuttles ferried the modules up and down, but during its last mission in February 2011, the shuttle Discovery left Leonardo at the outpost permanently.