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  Space Shuttles - Space Station
  Transferring payload to the orbiter's bay

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Author Topic:   Transferring payload to the orbiter's bay
ASCAN1984
Member

Posts: 1004
From: County Down, Nothern Ireland
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 09-22-2008 01:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ASCAN1984   Click Here to Email ASCAN1984     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Last night the payload canister for STS-125 was successfully transferred to the payload changeout room and that made me remember a question I kept meaning to ask. How does the payload get from the payload canister to the orbiters payload bay? I have racked my brain and I just can't find an answer. Any pictures would be great.

Many thanks

Gareth

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-22-2008 02:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Payloads are removed from the canister and installed vertically in the orbiter using the extendable payload ground handling mechanism (PGHM).

In 2006, Mission Payload Manager Debbie Hahn described the PGHM during a webcast:

Prior to the arrival of the space shuttle at the pad, the payload is delivered to the payload changeout room by the payload canister. The payload is transferred from the payload canister into the payload grand handling mechanism, which is a large handling fixture in the payload changeout room. Hooks configured on the payload ground handling mechanism hold the payload by the same trunnions that will hold the payload in the space shuttle.

When the transfer of the payload to the orbiter payload bay occurs, the payload ground handling mechanism translates forward along the floor of the payload changeout room and the load of the payload trunnions is transferred from the hooks on the payload ground handling mechanism to the payload retention latches on the orbiter payload bay.

In this photo, taken in 1998, you can see the STS-95 payloads being supported by the PGHM inside the changeout room.

Jay Chladek
Member

Posts: 2211
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 09-22-2008 03:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There is also a flat set of doors in the bottom of the canister. So as the thing is loaded into the RSS, the curved "top" side is to the outside and the "bottom" doors are oriented towards the shuttle. So the payload is winched out through the bottom of the canister and into the payload changeout room and from there into the bay of the orbiter.

All times are CT (US)

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