Postlanding Operations

After the Orbiter lands at KSC and the crew egresses, the payload bay environmental limits are maintained by exterior units that are attached while the Orbiter is on the landing strip and remain attached while it is being towed to the OPF for safing. Normal removal of returning payload and airborne support equipment occurs in the OPF approximately 2 days after landing. Landing at a site other than KSC in the US will require several days for the ferry flight to KSC in an environmentally uncontrolled Orbiter payload bay before payloads can be removed. Upon removal from the Orbiter, equipment will be turned over the payload owners/operators for shipment to their respective facilities as soon as possible. Packaging and shipment are a user responsibility. If a contingency landing is made overseas, the payloads will be removed from the payload bay and returned to KSC or the user's facility.

Preparation of Vertically Processed payloads for Flight
  1. Arrival and Receiving
  2. Payload Preparation
  3. Payload Hazardous Processing
  4. Upper Stage Processing (OMV, IUS, TOS, PAM)
  5. Payload Integration & CITE Testing
  6. Orbiter Operations
  7. VPF-to-Pad Operations
  8. RSS & PCR Operations
  9. Orbiter Intergration
  10. Launch & Mission
  11. Postlanding Operations

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Last Updated Friday September 1 13:30:30 EDT 1995
Tom Nguyen (
Ernest Cody (
Jim Dumoulin (