The Leonardo canister, named after Italian inventor, mathematician, scientist, and engineer Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), is a Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM).
Much of the cargo for the STS-128 mission involves research supplies. In fact, NASA associate administrator for space operations Bill Gerstenmaier states, "We're really starting to outfit the research capability of the station. Our strong goal over the next five years, until 2015, is to really start utilizing the space station to show that it's a very productive facility." [Florida Today: “'Go' for launch: Discovery will deliver space station supplies and improve science facilities”]
They will also deliver a treadmill nicknamed “Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill,” or COLBERT. The treadmill was nicknamed COLBERT after NASA had a contest to name the Node 3 module for the space station.
Additional background on the contest is found on the March 26, 2009 iTWire article “NASA Nation versus Colbert Nation.”
Although the name COLBERT got the most votes in the contest, NASA decided to name it Tranquility instead.
However, the U.S. space agency did decide to name its second treadmill after TV comedian Steven Colbert, the person who started the write-in campaign while hosting his TV show on Comedy Central.
And, information on the results of the contest appear on the April 16, 2009 iTWire article “Name of Space Station Node 3 surprise to Stephen Colbert.”
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