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Lockheed Martin Repurposing Shuttle Cargo Module to Use for Lunar Orbiting Base

Accepted submission by takyon at 2017-07-25 11:17:22

Let's just throw this old thing [] at the Moon and call it a day:

A cargo container that was built to fly on NASA's space shuttles is being repurposed as a prototype for a deep space habitat.

Lockheed Martin announced it will refurbish the Donatello multi-purpose logistics module [] (MLPM), transforming from it from its original, unrealized role as a supply conveyor for the International Space Station to a test and training model of a living area for astronauts working beyond Earth orbit []. The work is being done under a public-private partnership between the aerospace corporation and NASA.

"We are excited to work with NASA to repurpose a historic piece of flight hardware," said Bill Pratt, Lockheed Martin's program manager for the deep space habitat contract, in a statement [].

Donatello was one of three MPLMs that was designed to fly in the space shuttle payload bay to transfer cargo to the station. Built by the Italian Space Agency under a contract with NASA, two modules, Leonardo and Raffaello, flew on 12 shuttle missions between 2001 and 2011.

Also at Popular Mechanics [].

Previously: NASA and International Partners Planning Orbital Lunar Outpost []
NASA Eyeing Mini Space Station in Lunar Orbit as Stepping Stone to Mars []

Related: Moon Base Could Cost Just $10 Billion Due to New Technologies []
Should We Skip Mars for Now and Go to the Moon Again? []
Cislunar 1000 Vision - Commercializing Space []
Forget Mars, Colonize Titan []
Japan Planning to Put a Man on the Moon Around 2030 []

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