Orbiter Integration

The payload-related areas of the OPF, like the O&C Building assembly and test area, are clean work areas. Before entering the OPF, the canister/transporter receives a thorough external wipedown. Inside the OPF, overhead cranes are used to transfer the payload from the canister to the Orbiter payload bay.

From this point until launch, time involving final preparation of the Orbiter for flight is rigidly controlled. Payloads-related activities are kept to an absolute minimum, and physical access to the cargo bay is limited.

Following payload installation, a payload-to-Orbiter interface verification test is performed. An optional end-to-end communications test may be performed between a payload and its POCC. This test can include uplink and downlink data and voice communication to verify payload-to-POCC compatibility.

In support of the above tests, a payload console is provided and operated by KSC in the Launch Control Center (LCC) to monitor and control specific Spacelab and payload functions. Once again, from the user room in the O&C Building, you are able to monitor payload data transmitted by means of the Spacelab high-rate multiplexer.

At the conclusion of this testing, final payload close-out operations are conducted. This consists of activities such as final instrument service, film and tape loading, storage, final inspection. Payload operations in the OPF can require experimenter-furnished GSE. Space and electrical power are reserved for a limited amount of such equipment. For GSE access to the payload bay sill area, folddown platforms flank the open bay at door hinge height. Personnel may also access the payload bay interior by means of support platforms lowered from overhead workstands. Due to the nature of the flight equipment involved, KSC personnel will normally conduct any payload operations in the OPF.

  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 14:39:57 EDT 1995
Tom Nguyen (nguyen@titan.ksc.nasa.gov)
Ernest Cody (cody@titan.ksc.nasa.gov)
Jim Dumoulin (dumoulin@titan.ksc.nasa.gov)