The Space Station Processing Facility (SSPF) is a three-story, 42,500 m2 (457,000 square foot) building located in the Kennedy Space Center industrial area, just east of the Operations and Checkout Building.[1] It was built for the processing of International Space Station flight hardware. The SSPF includes two processing bays, an airlock, operational control rooms, laboratories, logistics areas, office space, and a cafeteria. The processing areas, airlock, and laboratories were designed to support non-hazardous Station and Space Shuttle payloads in 100,000 class clean work areas.

Station Integration TestingEdit

Regarding the launch of modules of the International Space Station (ISS), there had been philosophical differences for years between designers and payload processors whether to ship-and-shoot or perform integration testing prior to launch. The former involved building a station module and launching it without ever physically testing it with other modules. The integration testing was not originally in the ISS plan, but in 1995 Johnson Space Center designers began to consider it and embedding KSC personnel at module factories. Multi-Element Integration Testing (MEIT) of ISS modules at KSC was officially in the books in 1997.[2][3][4]

"Three MEIT and one Integration Systems Test (IST) tests were conducted for the ISS," taking about three years from planning to completion and closure:[5]

After the launch of the U.S. Laboratory module, an emulator was built for MEIT testing, since the lab controlled many other modules. Among the items checked were mechanical connections, the ability to flow power and fluids between modules, and the flight software.

Numerous issues were found from these on the ground tests, many of which couldn't have been fixed in orbit. Many of the builders accompanied their modules from around the world and worked at KSC for months to years during testing. Many of the modules were renamed after successfully launching.

Station components currently in the SSPFEdit

Node 3 in SSPF

Tranquility in the SSPF.

As of 6 April 2011 (2011-04-06):

When the lights in the building are on, most of these components can be seen on the live webcam from the facility.[6]


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