Launch Pad Operations

During rollout from the VAB, there is no standard capability to power up or monitor payload elements. On the pad prior to launch, active payload systems may be monitored through Shuttle systems, if this service is prearranged. Payload information gathered during this time is displayed at the Launch Processing System console in the LCC and in the O&C Building user room. Once the MLP and Space Shuttle are delivered to the launch pad, a final launch readiness verification test is conducted. Time-critical life science experiments and specimens may be installed in the interior of the Spacelab module on the pad through the Orbiter middeck airlock and Spacelab transfer tunnel. Small experiments and equipment can be installed in the Orbiter middeck lockers up to 12 hours before launch. The normal processing flow does not include access to the payload bay while the Space Shuttle and Spacelab are on the pad.

  1. Arrival and Receiving
  2. Preparation and Staging
  3. Experiment Integration
  4. Spacelab Integration
  5. CITE Testing
  6. Transport to OPF
  7. Orbiter Integration
  8. OPF-to-VAB Transfer
  9. Assembly and Rollout
  10. Launch Pad Operations
  11. Launch and Mission
  12. Post-Flight Payload Operations

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Last Updated Friday September 1 14:40:06 EDT 1995
Tom Nguyen (
Ernest Cody (
Jim Dumoulin (