With the MPLM fully loaded it is time to move it to the launch pad for installation in the Payload Bay of Space Shuttle Atlantis. The move from the Operations and Checkout Building to launch pad 39-A must be done in clean-room conditions. To achieve this the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module is installed into the Payload Canister which sits on top of the Payload Transporter.
The first thing that you will notice about the Payload transporter is the two large red pipes. These are expandable air conditioning tubes to keep the payload at the correct temperature and humidity during the transport to and installation whilst at the launch pad. Once the payload has been secured in the payload canister it is ready to move out to the launch pad.
Before the payload transporter can start to move the Launch Pad needs to be ready to accept the Payload Canister. This means that the Removable Service Structure (RSS) needs to be retracted so that the canister can be hoisted from its horizontal aspect to vertical where it fits into the RSS to be ultimately installed in the shuttle Payload Bay.
Details of the Space Shuttle Payload Installation and picture gallery follow:
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