First Phase Of Transforming Shuttle Facility Wraps Up

By  //  April 11, 2013

Space Florida Updates KSC Building For New Use

BREVARD COUNTY • KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLORIDA – Space Florida has completed Phase 1 of its efforts to transform the former Orbiter Processing Facility 3 at Kennedy Space Center into a modern and commercially friendly aerospace facility, now referred to as the Commercial Crew & Cargo Processing Facility.

An artist’s conception of what the new Commercial Crew & Cargo Processing Facility at Kennedy Space Center will look like once work to update the former Space Shuttle facility is fully completed and occupied. (Image courtesy of Space Florida).

This project is the result of a first-of-its-kind partnership between NASA-KSC and Space Florida whereby Space Florida has secured full long-term rights to operate, maintain, and improve the C3PF under purely commercial standards and make it available to commercial tenants.

Phase 1 of the project, initiated in August 2012, was executed by BRPH and Hensel Phelps Construction Company under a $4.5 million contract with Space Florida. This initial phase consisted of a detailed design for facility modernization, as well as demolition of obsolete and abandoned Space Shuttle processing infrastructure including removal of the massive orbiter work stands in the High Bay to make room for a flexible and efficient clean-floor layout.

Frank DiBello is the Space Florida President and CEO. (Image courtesy of Space Florida)


After carefully preparing the site and removing specialty equipment for re-use in the facility modernization, the steel work stands were removed over the course of four weeks of demolition.

More than 98 percent of the 1,040 tons of steel, aluminum, and other material removed from the facility has been recycled.

The remaining High Bay area provides roughly 30,000-square-feet of open floor space suitable for class 300K clean room aerospace operations, assembly, or processing.  Two 30-ton bridge cranes remain in the high bay for future use.

Phase 1 efforts also prepared for commercial operations the attached Low Bay, previously referred to as the Space Shuttle Main Engine Processing Facility.

In this area, work stands were removed that previously supported refurbishment of Space Shuttle engines, making way for an additional 30,000-square-feet of open-floor clean room operations. Efforts also included minor preparations in the 48,000-square-feet processing area and 30,000-square-feet of second floor office area that join the High Bay and Low Bay, as well as the Processing Control Center, a nearby 99,000-square-feet three-story raised floor office building.

“Through the investment the State of Florida is making in this and other facilities, and by marketing them for commercial use, we are sending a strong message to industry that Florida is serious about attracting and retaining a robust commercial space industry.” Frank DiBello Space Florida president

Attractive to business

“By leveraging existing infrastructure such as OPF 3, we are able to bring a significant competitive advantage to the marketplace and make it even more attractive to conduct commercial space business here in Florida,” said Space Florida President and CEO, Frank DiBello. “The inherent structure and capabilities of these types of facilities allow us to pass through to commercial tenants an estimated 30 percent savings under alternative facilities market price, without regard for the unique and advantageous location.”

The C3PF is ideally situated for commercial use, with direct access to the 15,000-foot runway at the Shuttle Landing Facility which lies less than two miles away, as well as close proximity to all commercial, NASA, and Air Force launch pads located at Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

“Through the investment the State of Florida is making in this and other facilities, and by marketing them for commercial use, we are sending a strong message to industry that Florida is serious about attracting and retaining a robust commercial space industry” DiBello said. “This project is an excellent example of our unique ability to re-purpose underutilized federal facilities, and give them a new life for commercial operations.”

Space Florida plans to continue market-focused construction efforts on the C3PF this spring, progressing toward a fully modernized aerospace facility that is poised to meet the demands of the growing commercial space sector.

1 Comment

  1. So, so sad to see OPF3 torn down, I spent only a few hours in there, but it was amazing what could be completed there.

    The EXACT placement of every stationary, and moving part used to renew the Orbitor after every flight was AMAZING!

    I am excited about the ReGeneration of the facility it self to bring us in to the future of Manned Space Flight!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.