Who We Serve

Space Launch Facilities

Atlas V Space Launch Complex 41

The Atlas V is one of the US Government’s Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles (EELV). It carries the nation's DoD payloads, as well as selected commercial payloads. These EELVs launch from SLC-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and SLC-3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base. RS&H has provided civil, structural, mechanical, and electrical designs and construction administration support during construction, start up, and activation to support the Atlas V facilities and launch vehicle located at SLC 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Base.  Projects have included:

  • Environmental Control System (ECS), which supports the vehicles at the Vehicle Integration Facility and at the launch pad.
  • Facility HVAC systems, which support operations within the entire Atlas V SLC-41 complex, including the Vehicle Integration Facility, Mobile Launch Platform, and Pad Air Conditioning Shelter
  • Booster LO2 System for a new Storage and Transfer Facility, which includes a 450,000-gallon storage tank, 16 vaporizer units, six stations for propellant offloading, and related pneumatic control panels.  
  • Centaur LO2 System for a new vacuum jacketed transfer line, which connects the existing CLO2 Storage Facility to the autocoupler interface.  
  • Centaur LH2 System for a new storage and transfer facility, including a 45,000-gallon storage tank, a new vaporizer assembly for pressurization, two stations for propellant offloading, and a dual burn stack GH2 disposal system.  
  • RP-1 System for a new storage and transfer facility, including two 48,000-gallon storage tanks, RP-1 pumping transfer assembly, three stations for propellant offloading, and pneumatic control panels.  
  • Centaur engine chill down system for a new storage and transfer facility, which includes a 5,500-gallon LN2 storage tank with internal heat exchanger, one LN2 fill station for cryogen offloading, vacuum jacketed transfer piping from the storage tank to the autocoupler interface, related pneumatic panels, and pipe supports.
  • High Pressure Gas System for the GN2 and GHe storage facility, including interconnecting pipes and valving system for seven storage tanks, safety relief devices, control panels, and cross-country pipe runs for GN2 and GHe that supply the Pad Equipment Building.
  • Pad Equipment Building’s equipment installation and arrangement for 11 pneumatic panels and two accumulators complete with interconnecting pipes and tubing.  
  • Autocoupler Building’s new layout of all propellant and pneumatic lines
  • VIF Pneumatic Piping to all floor levels complete with service outlets and branch runs to designated stations and panel locations, as well as the installation of the GN2 and GHe Distribution Control Panels and miscellaneous Gauge Trees for service interfaces (i.e. hot fire abort cart, payload van, crane brake, and MLP).

General Site Development and Trade Studies SLC 36

RS&H completed General Site Development at Space Launch Complex 36, located at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The package consisted of civil redevelopment and permitting, demolition, grading and drainage, environmental controls, and utility tie-ins for sewerage, potable water, fire protection, electrical and communications. Concrete deluge, catch basins and commodity tank supports were added to allow for landmark development and general site progress. Definition and security of the perimeter, security fencing, and point-of-entry Guard Stations were included in the package as well.

RS&H coordinated and permitted the stormwater management system Environmental Resource Permit through the Saint Johns River Water Management District.

RS&H also supported Blue Origin with numerous Trade Studies, including:

  • Launch Pad Layout
  • Test Stand Layout
  • Vehicle Transport Align and Lift
  • Water Deluge System Storage and Delivery Methods
  • Lightning Protection Layout
  • Transportation Route Analysis
  • Facility Design Requirements

Delta II Space Launch Complex 2

RS&H designed modifications to Space Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg AFB for Delta II launch operations.  The Delta II carries a variety of payloads for numerous DoD agencies including the U.S. Air Force, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Missile Defense Agency, as well as NASA, universities, and international organizations.

RS&H’s designs included a new class 10,000 anteroom, or cleanroom for processing payloads, which is attached to the existing Mobile Service Tower.   RS&H also provided site inspection, non-destructive testing, and structural analysis modeling to develop recommendations for refurbishment repairs to both of the existing Mobile Service Tower and Fixed Umbilical Tower.

NASA KSC Space Launch Complex 39

Every Space Shuttle launched at Kennedy Space Center has been from RS&H designed service structures and support equipment. RS&H developed design criteria and designed modifications for the Launch Pad.  These designs enabled the flights of the Space Shuttle, which took the Hubble Space Telescope and numerous satellites into orbit, as well as carried supplies to the International Space Station.

RS&H developed more than 500 design criteria and modifications to Launch Pad 39A to accommodate changes to the shuttle, including designing the Rotating Service Structure, which processes payloads into the Shuttle cargo bay, and a sound suppression system to minimize sound and vibration during lift off.  RS&H also completed 57 analytical studies to determine which facilities would be used for processing and launching the Space Shuttle throughout its life. RS&H also produced five Preliminary Engineering Reports to specify exactly what would be converted or recycled to save construction costs. These reports were the basis for NASA's Space Shuttle Program.

NASA Mobile Launch Structures

Since the beginning of our nation’s space program, RS&H has been a key designer for the structures used to launch rockets. Beginning with the Apollo Program, RS&H designed three Mobile Launchers for the Saturn V rockets in the 1960s and subsequently developed modifications to transition them into Mobile Launcher Platforms for the Shuttle Program in the 1970s.

After the Shuttle’s retirement, RS&H was tasked to design a fourth mobile launch structure, a lightweight Mobile Launcher for the Constellation Program. Before it was completed, the Constellation Program’s “single stick” solid rocket was replaced by the much larger Space Launch System rocket.

RS&H accepted the challenge to design the modifications necessary to strengthen the new Mobile Launcher to support the new vehicle. The exhaust opening in the base of the launcher was widened and reinforced to accommodate a much heavier core vehicle with two solid rocket boosters. Currently, additional modifications are under way to install ground support equipment including launch accessories (umbilicals and swing arms), fluids, and electrical systems.

Space Launch Complex 3E

RS&H provided design and construction services to modify Space Launch Complex 3E for Atlas V launch operations for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program at Vandenberg Air Force Base. RS&H designed the HVAC and Environmental Control Systems, which support the Atlas V vehicles at the fixed launch platform. The Environmental Control Systems is a redundant system designed to maintain uninterrupted flow of highly conditioned air/gaseous nitrogen to the launch vehicle and payload during all vehicle processing and launch activities. RS&H also provided the design for the following facilities and systems:

  • Utilities
  • Fire Suppression
  • Fixed Launch Pad Umbilical Tower Water Deluge 
  • Lower Acoustics Suppression Water 
  • Potable Water 
  • Mobile Service Tower Emergency Payload Drain System 
  • Foundations and Supports 
  • Cryogenic Propellants Siting, Grading, Drainage, Foundations, and Pits 
  • Fixed Launch Pad 
  • Payload Air Conditioning Shelter 
  • Retention Pond 
  • Paving, Grading, and Drainage 

NASA Launch Control Center Firing Rooms Renovation

RS&H studied and designed renovations to the Kennedy Space Center Launch Control Center Firing Rooms, where launch operations are supervised and controlled. RS&H first conducted a study to identify alternatives for replacing the rooms’ 40-year old windows and sun louvers. Goals included minimizing glare and reducing heat load, maintaining sun control, preserving aesthetics and views, and ensuring zero chance of water infiltration during construction. Maintaining operations during construction was also essential, as several shuttle launches took place during the renovation.

The final design included tinted, laminate-insulated, and low-e glazing in a skylight frame system installed 5 feet out from the existing windows. This concept allowed for installation of the new system from the exterior, limiting interruption to interior operations while also allowing the new system to be tested and accepted prior to removal of the old windows. Interior motorized roll-shades were also installed to replace the sun louvers. During construction, NASA continued to conduct launch processing and launched several shuttles, including the Ares 1X. Not once did construction interfere with operations nor was there ever water intrusion, leading NASA Test Director Kyle Dixon to equate the project to “… replace[ing] the windshield of my car, while I’m driving it down the road,” a testament to the team’s success in minimizing interruption to launch operations. The project was also completed four months ahead of schedule.