RSS & PCR Operations

The RSS is the movable, gantry-like structure located on the launch pad. The PCR is part of the RSS and functions as an airlock and clean work area when the payloads are inserted into or removed from the Orbiter as it maintains the controlled environment required by the payloads and the Orbiter bay. The PGHM is an integral part of the PCR and handles all payload movements from canister to PCR and PCR to the Orbiter.

Upon arrival at the RSS, the payloads are considered on-line Shuttle. Payload GSE required to support launch pad operations can be installed within the PCR, the MLP Room 10A or the Pad Terminal Connection Room as required.

Installation of the vertical payloads into the PCR occurs normally before the Shuttle transfer to the launch pad, and begins with the positioning of the canister below the retracted RSS. The canister is hoisted o the proper elevation, locked into position, and the environmental seals of the room inflated against the sides of the canister. The space between the closed doors of the PCR and the canister is purged with clean air to ensure the required cleanliness, and the doors of the PCR and then the canister are opened.

The PGHM is moved to the canister; the attach/handling fittings of the PGHM are aligned and attached to the payload elements. The PGHM is retracted into the PCR carrying the payloads. The canister doors and the PCR doors are then closed. The canister is lowered to the transporter and taken to the storage facility. Eight hours of payload stand-alone testing (to be shared among payload elements) is the RSS are available, if desired. All payload servicing is accomplished before installation into the Orbiter, if feasible.

The RSS is then moved into position to enclose the Orbiter payload bay and environmental seals are established. The space between the closed Orbiter and PCR doors is purged with clean air. The PCR doors are opened and the payload bay doors are opened. The PGHM then extends the payloads into the Orbiter.

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 14:40:41 EDT 1995
Tom Nguyen (
Ernest Cody (
Jim Dumoulin (