Earth, Space & Life Sciences

Space Shuttle LaunchPayload Processing Support for Low-Earth Orbit

CSS was involved in processing scientific payloads for more than 60 NASA Space Transportation System (STS) missions to the International Space Station (ISS) or as Space Shuttle mid-deck experiments in low-earth orbit (LEO). CSS support NASA-funded and International partner Principal Investigators (PIs) through all phases of flight. The effort included fabricating, testing and qualifying flight hardware; training  crew (Mission Specialists); implementing Flight and Ground Safety processes; and conducting Preliminary Design Reviews (PDRs), Critical Design Reviews (CDRs), Science Readiness Reviews (SRRs), Science Verification Tests (SVTs), Payload Verification Tests (PVTs) and real-time mission support. CSS staff developed Ground Support Requirements Documents (GSRDs) for all life science payloads; reconfigured and equipped ground laboratories to meet the specialized needs of visiting science teams; and managed AAALAC-certified animal care facilities for flight-related animal experiments. CSS also coordinated the Specimen Sharing Program for specimens returned from flight, and entered experimental data into the NASA's Life Science Data Archive (LSDA). Most of the work was performed at NASA facilities at the John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, or in Space Florida's Space Life Sciences Laboratory. We also were responsible for post-flight experiment processing at the alternate Shuttle landing sites at Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC) in California and at White Sands in New Mexico.