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Debra Rahn Headquarters, Washington, DC (Phone: 202/358-1638)

George Diller/Lisa Malone Kennedy Space Center, FL (Phone: 407/867-2468)


September 21, 1998


NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin and the President of the Italian Space Agency, Sergio De Julio, will meet at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, FL, on Friday, Sept. 25 for a ceremonial event transferring the "Leonardo" Multipurpose Logistics Module (MPLM) from the Italian Space Agency (ASI) to NASA.

The MPLM, a reusable logistics carrier, is the primary delivery system used to resupply the International Space Station (ISS) and return Station cargo requiring a pressurized environment. It is one of Italy's major contributions to the Station program. The cylindrical module is approximately 21 feet long, 15 feet in diameter, and weighs almost 4.5 tons.

Leonardo will be carried to the International Space Station aboard the Space Shuttle and will be temporarily docked to the Station once on orbit, providing a working environment for two crew members. It can carry up to 20,000 pounds of supplies, science experiments, spare parts and other logistical components for ISS.

A ceremonial signing of a document signifying the transfer of Leonardo, the first of three MPLM carriers, will be held at the International Space Station Center, located adjacent to the Space Station Processing Facility at KSC. This activity will begin at 11 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 25. Participating in the ceremony will be:

Daniel S. Goldin, NASA Administrator Sergio De Julio, President, Italian Space Agency Roy D. Bridges, Director, Kennedy Space Center

At noon, media will be escorted to the Space Station Processing Facility to see Leonardo and for a photo/interview opportunity. Available will be:

Daniel S. Goldin, NASA Administrator Sergio De Julio, President, Italian Space Agency Roy D. Bridges, Director, Kennedy Space Center Joseph H. Rothenberg, NASA Associate Administrator for Space Flight Gretchen W. McClain, NASA Deputy Associate Administrator for Space Development John D. Schumacher, NASA Associate Administrator of External Relations Randy Brinkley, NASA International Space Station Program Manager Giovanni Rum, Advisor to the ASI President Silvana Rabbia, ASI MPLM Program Manager Giuseppe Viriglio, Head, Alenia Aerospazio Space Division Saverio Lioy, Head, Alenia Space Infrastructure Program Royce Mitchell, Boeing Deputy Program Manager for International Space Station

Astronauts Chris Hadfield and Robert Curbeam, members of the Space Shuttle crew that will launch Leonardo in late 1999, as well as Italian astronaut Umberto Guidoni, will be present.

Media representatives should be at the KSC Press Site at 10 a.m. for transportation to the International Space Station Center. Since media will later be taken inside the high bay of the Space Station Processing Facility, long pants and closed-toe shoes are required. No shorts or sandals are allowed. Also, no food, tobacco, lighters, matches or knives can be permitted inside the high bay. Media will be returned to the KSC Press Site by 1 p.m.

Those media needing accreditation should contact the NASA News Center at KSC at 407/867-2468 before the close of business, Thursday, Sept. 24.