Nasa and the Italian Space Agency will transform the existing multipurpose logistics module (MPLM), Leonardo, into a permanent multipurpose module (PMM) for the International Space Station (ISS).

The pressurised modules carry equipment, experiments and supplies of up to 10t to and from the station aboard the shuttle fleet.

The unpiloted, reusable MPLM function as both a cargo carrier and a space station module.

Modifications of Leonardo will allow it to carry more mass into orbit and enable efficient positioning of experiments throughout the ISS complex.

The PMM will be flown aboard shuttle Discovery during the STS-133 mission in September 2010 and attached to the station.