With the retirement of the Space Shuttle Fleet, many Ground Support Elements of the Program are no longer needed and will be decommissioned over the coming months at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
KSC is in possession of two large Payload Canisters that were used to transport Payloads for the Space Suttle from their final processing facility to the Launch Pad. Before starting the trip, the canisters were rotated to an upright position in preparation for Payload Transfer. At the Launch Complex, the Canister was hoisted up to the Payload Changeout Room and the Payloads were transferred to that room. After lowering the canister, rotating the RSS (Roatating Service Structure) around the Orbiter and opening the Payload Bay Doors of the Shuttle, the Installation of the Payloads into the Cargo Bay of the Shuttle was performed. Each canister weighs 110,000lbs, is 65 feet in length and 22 feet in width. It is 18 feet and 7 inches high. The canisters have two doors that are opened for Payload Operations and can be closed to protect payloads from environmental properties. A cooling and power umbilical was hooked up to the side of the canister to supply the payloads inside with conditioned clean air and electrical power.
Both Payload Canisters are now awaiting decommission at the Reutilization, Recycling and Marketing Facility on Ransom Road. The Canisters were considered as artifacts of the Program, but due to their size, transport from the KSC to a display location would be difficult. Before a final decision on their disposal will be made, Federal and State Agencies will be given the opportunity to screen the canisters for potential use in other fields.
Payload Canister #1 was rolled from the high bay of the Canister Rotation Facility to the Reutilization, Recycling and Marketing Facility at the Kennedy Space Center on September 27.