Permanent Multipurpose Module
The ISS utilization has been gradually increased as long as the assembly was progressing and more resources were made available for the scientific payloads and facilities.
Having taken in to a consideration this scenario Thales Alenia Space have investigated several options to expand the ISS capabilities offering a new pressurized volume on orbit just keeping on orbit a modified MPLM at its last mission .
PMM (Permanent Multipurpose Module) is a new Program established on the basis of a Bilateral agreement between ASI and NASA for deriving a permanent on orbit Element from one Module of the MPLM fleet.
PMM will be capable to offer a variety of potential services in view of the more extensive longer ISS utilization.
Once on orbit PMM will offer 70 additional Cubic metres of pressurized volume for stowage and for scientific utilization.
To transform an existing Logistics carrier utilized for ten years into a Permanent Docked Module able to stay additional ten years on orbit, modifications are mainly dedicated to :
- Enhance the Module shielding with an improved MDPS design in order to satisfy the new PNP requirement
- Provide the On Orbit Maintenance capability by changing the internal harness routing and brackets layout to allow the crew accessibility to the internal equipment
- Provide “on orbit easy interfaces” for future exploitation of the retained resources
- Provide a certified life extension for all equipments and subsystems
The challenge of the PMM mission will represents an important opportunity for Thales Alenia Space Italy to fully exploit the know-how acquired in almost 20 years of activities for ISS, and in the mean time to confirm the robustness of the original MPLM design that will be easily adapted to a quite different application .
PMM Program is being realized for ASI by the same industrial team that designed, build and successfully operated MPLM.