Space Shuttle and Payload Processing Tour

Preparation and launch of the Space Shuttle and its payloads takes place at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Florida, the United States' liftoff site for human spaceflight. This extensive 140,000-acre (56,658-hectare) complex was originally built to support the Apollo lunar landing project in the 1960s-'70s, and then converted for the Space Shuttle program.

Assembly, checkout and launch of the Space Shuttle Orbiter and its External Tank and twin Solid Rocket Boosters takes place in the Launch Complex (LC) 39 area of the space center. Preparation of payloads slated to fly on the Shuttle occurs primarily in KSC's Industrial Area, located to the south of LC 39.

From this page you can obtain additional detail on how the Space Shuttle and its payloads are assembled and prepared for flight, and the facilities where the work is performed. You can also find information about other facilities at KSC or Click here for map of KSC Area.

Space Shuttle Processing Flow

Space Shuttle Processing Facilities

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Authors: Jim Dumoulin/NASA and Paula Shawa/Sherikon Space Systems
Last Updated: Friday June 16, 20:01:01 EDT 1995 Jim Dumoulin (