In the web cast for the Falcon 9 Flight 8 launch campaign they showed an alternate hangar where spacecraft can be prepared and fueled, before being brought to the SpaceX hangar on LC-40 for integration with the launcher.

I grabbed a screen shot of the facility they were referring to as 'down the road'.

Other Hangar for SpaceX at the Cape

What is this alternate hangar they are referring too, and what are they using it for?

  • $\begingroup$ What's your question - what it's used for? Where it is? $\endgroup$ – Undo May 20 '14 at 15:07
  • $\begingroup$ @undo Both. Less so, where it is, more so, what is it used for. $\endgroup$ – geoffc May 20 '14 at 18:18

I found it! The SPIF (Spacecraft Processing and Integration Facility) was used for the Shuttle program, and renamed to SPIF after the Challenger incident. Used to be the SMAB (Solid Motor Assembly Building).

The IUS (Intertial Upper Stage) were assembled there for Shuttle payloads.

The location is shown on this map:

KSC/CCAFS Locations

The internal layout looks like:

SPIF Interior layout

The outside looks like this:

enter image description here

There are several bays, with room for 2 payloads to be processed, a third in the transfer aisle, and airlocks to get the payloads in and out, without contamintating anything.

On the last image, bottom left there are three doors side by side. Two are access ways to two bays, and the third is the airlock for incoming payloads.

SpaceX is leasing space in the SPIF, apparently as they need it (Used for Asiasat 8 and 6 launches, may be used for Dragons as well to make space in LC40 hangar and allow for two or more payload processing flows at once.

Here is a picture of a DSP being mounted on a IUS for a Shuttle launch: DSP mounted on IUS

Here is a picture of the outside of the building.

Outside of SPIF-SMAB


I was the US Army Corps of Engineers Cape Canaveral Area Engineer from 1981 - 1983. I managed all the heavy construction at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Patrick AFB. The SMAB was an existing facility integral to the Titan Integrate, Transfer, Launch Complex at CCAFS that we modified under a $25 million contract to Algernon-Blair of Montgomery, AL. The modified SMAB became the SPIF, short for Shuttle Payload Integration Facility, that we turned it over to the Air Force summer of 1983.


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