The ISS is Being Torn Apart (and Neatly Put Back Together)

By Jamie Condliffe on at

Yesterday, the International Space Station’s Permanent Multipurpose Module known as Leonardo was detached from the spacecraft. But don’t worry: it was part of a planned move, in order to make it easier for more visiting spacecraft to dock with the orbiting laboratory.

The 10-tonne module was first unbolted by NASA astronauts Terry Virts and Scott Kelly, before it was repositioned using the Space Station’s main robotic arm. This image shows the view of the move from the hatch window in the Unity Node of the Station. Now the team will perform a series of leak checks, before opening the door to the module later today. The Leonardo module is used to store cargo bags, spare parts and food, as well as the personal belongings of astronauts, like clothes and wash kit. [ESA]