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ALENIA TO BUILD MINI SUPPLY MODULES FOR SPACE STATION

 ALENIA TO BUILD MINI SUPPLY MODULES FOR SPACE STATION
 HUNTSVILLE, Ala., Jan. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The Italian aerospace firm Alenia will build two mini pressurized logistics modules (MPLMs) for Space Station Freedom as part of a contract with the Italian Space Agency (ASI), Boeing said today.
 Boeing Defense & Space Group in Huntsville will act on behalf of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as systems engineering and integration manager, under a memorandum of agreement signed with Alenia this week.
 The modules will carry supplies and experiments between Earth and the orbiting laboratory. ASI will use a portion of the manned orbiting laboratory later in this decade.
 The space station program was restructured last year, resulting in a phased program in which the station will reach its man-tended configuration in December 1996. During this phase, the station will be tended by astronauts from the shuttle orbiter, and a miniature supply module will be required. The MPLMs hold seven standardized payload racks and one subsystem rack.
 Alenia will deliver the first MPLM to Kennedy Space Center, Fla., in August 1996. First MPLM launch is scheduled for May 1997.
 Boeing will build 20-rack supply carriers when the station is staffed by four astronauts in its permanently manned phase is September 1999. Boeing is prime contractor for Freedom's pressurized laboratory and living modules, connecting node structures, supply carriers and selected on-board systems.
 "The international character of Space Station Freedom is further enhanced by this arrangement with Alenia," said Richard Grant, vice president and program manager for Boeing. "The great dividends we expect to reap from the orbiting laboratory are going to benefit all of our international partners."
 "We welcome the opportunity offered by this agreement to strengthen the bilateral cooperation between Italy and the United States with a space program that will considerably increase the capabilities of Space Station Freedom," said Ernesto Vallerani, chairman of Alenia Spazio. "It also is an opportunity for that cooperation to be projected into future programs."
 Alenia's space division, Alenia Spazio, is contractor to the European Space Agency for the pressurized module for Freedom's Columbus laboratory.
 -0- 1/30/92
 NOTE TO EDITORS: Color photos are available upon request.
 /CONTACT: Brian Ames or Peri Widener of Boeing Defense & Space Group, 205-461-2805/
 (BA) CO: Boeing Defense & Space Group; Alenia Spazio ST: Washington IN: ARO SU: CON


LM-JH -- SE011 -- 5370 01/30/92 15:21 EST
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Date:Jan 30, 1992
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