Multi-Payload Processing Facility


Multi-Payload Processing Facility
The exterior of the Multi-Payload Processing Facility
The exterior of the Multi-Payload Processing Facility
Built1990s (1990s)[1][2]
LocationKennedy Space Center
Coordinates28°30′49.6″N 80°38′50.4″W / 28.513778°N 80.647333°W / 28.513778; -80.647333
IndustryAerospace and Space Technology
Area1,825.3 m2 (19,647 sq ft)[2]
Volume14,800 m3 (524,000 cu ft)[a][1]
Address6th St SE Merritt Island, FL 32953

The Multi-Payload Processing Facility (MPPF) is a facility at Kennedy Space Center constructed by NASA in either 1994[1] or 1995[2] and used for spacecraft and payload processing. Prior to being assigned the role of processing the Orion spacecraft, the MPPF was used to process solely non-hazardous payloads.[3]


The floor plan of the MPPF

The interior of the primary MPPF building is divided into a low bay, high bay, and equipment airlock.

The high bay is certified for the processing of hazardous materials such as high-pressure gasses, hypergolic propellant, ammonia, oxygen, and fluorocarbons.[4] It has a usable floor space of 40 m × 18 m (132 ft × 60 ft) with a ceiling height of 19 m (62 ft).[3][5] It is equipped with an 18 t (20 short tons) bridge crane with a hook height of 15 m (49 ft) and a 12.2 m × 9.1 m (40 ft × 30 ft) vertical door.[5] The low bay has a usable floor space of 10 m × 10 m (34 ft × 34 ft) with a ceiling height of 6.1 m (20 ft).[3] Both the high bay and low bay are class 100,000 cleanrooms.[6]

The airlock has a usable floor space of 11.9 m × 8.8 m (39 ft × 29 ft) with a ceiling height of 6.1 m (20 ft) and is a class 300,000 cleanroom.[6] It is equipped with a 4.6 m × 6.1 m (15 ft × 20 ft) door.[5]


After its construction, the MPPF was used for the processing of both Space Shuttle and Launch Services Program payloads. Following the end of the Shuttle program in 2011, it is slated to process the Orion spacecraft, and is also available to process hazardous or non-hazardous Space Launch System (SLS) payloads if necessary.[6][2]

Design work on upgrading the MPPF for Orion processing began in 2007 during the Constellation program, but actual installation and modification work only began in 2013.[2]

Orion spacecraft processing will be performed by the Spacecraft and Offline Operations team while the SLS is being stacked on the Mobile Launcher in the Vehicle Assembly Building.[7] During this time flight commodities will be loaded into the spacecraft. These flight commodities include monomethyl hydrazine fuel and nitrogen tetroxide oxidizer used in Orion's propulsion systems, ammonia coolant for thermal control, and Freon for the service module's radiator system. The MPPF will also be used to de-service Orion capsules that have returned from space and remove any residual flight commodities.[2]

Due to the hazardous materials involved, loading and unloading of flight commodities will be remotely monitored and controlled from one of the firing rooms inside the Launch Control Center and performed by technicians wearing Self Contained Atmospheric Protective Ensemble (SCAPE) hazmat suits.[2]

On January 16 2021, The Artemis 1 Orion spacecraft began fueling and pre-launch servicing in the MPPF following a handover to exploration ground systems.[8][9]


See also



  1. ^ Calculated from source.


  1. ^ a b c d "NASA KSC Multi Payload Processing Facility - MPPF". Retrieved 29 November 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Granath, Bob (25 August 2016). "Multi-Payload Processing Facility Provides 'Gas Station' for Orion". NASA. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Brown 2010, p. 1, Section 1.0.
  4. ^ Smith 2018, p. 89, Section 7.2.
  5. ^ a b c Smith 2018, p. 90, Section 7.2.
  6. ^ a b c Smith 2018, p. 88, Section 7.2.
  7. ^ Sloss, Philip (2 November 2018). "EGS Plan for the Pad: processing EM-1 hardware for launch". Retrieved 1 December 2019.
  8. ^ Sloss, Philip (27 March 2021). "EGS synchronizing Artemis 1 Orion, SLS Booster preps with Core Stage schedule".
  9. ^ Bergin, Chris (29 March 2021). "Following troubled childhood, Orion trio preparing for flight".


  • Brown, Stephen (13 July 2010). Analysis of Possible Explosions at Kennedy Space Center Due to Spontaneous Ignition of Hypergolic Propellants (PDF). NASA Kennedy Space Center, Cocoa Beach, FL. Document ID: 20100039378; Report Number: NASA-KSC-2010-029. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
  • Smith, David Alan (19 December 2018). Space Launch System (SLS) Mission Planner's Guide (PDF) (Revised second ed.). NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL. Document ID: 20190000736; Report Number: NASA-M19-7163. Retrieved 1 December 2019.

External links

  • Inside the Multi-Payload Processing Facility
  • NASA KSC Multi-Payload Processing Facility
  • Facilities Used for SLS and Orion