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National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Goddard Space Flight Center

Astrophysics Science Division | Sciences and Exploration

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Hubble Space Systems Development and Integration (SSDIF) Facility

SSDIF Images SSDIF Images SSDIF Images SSDIF Images
SSDIF Images SSDIF Images SSDIF Images SSDIF Images
Astronauts at Bay C VEST VEST ORUC MULE ORUC MULE FSS Baps Post SSDIF overview SSDIF Overview Crew in ORUC FSS Starboard SIP Panel


The Spacecraft Systems Development and Integration Facility (SSDIF) is an 86,000 square foot (7989.4 square meter) building used to integrate and test space hardware. Located at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, this facility houses the 1.3 million cubic foot (36,811.76 cu meters) High Bay Clean Room. The largest of its kind anywhere, this clean room plays an important role in Hubble servicing.

Everyone entering this room must wear a "bunny suit"-these are special coveralls, hoods, boots, gloves and masks. This gear helps protect the sensitive flight hardware from particles that could impede performance.

The STS-103 astronauts trained in this room-as did the crews from the two previous Hubble servicing missions. Using the clean room's very precise mechanical and electrical simulators, they practiced installing the actual Hubble hardware. This is where the Shuttle platform resides that is used to anchor Hubble. It is also home to the Shuttle carriers that take new Hubble instruments, tools and other hardware to orbit. If something unexpected happens during the mission, the clean room could become a hub of activity as Hubble engineers work to solve the problem.

Clean Room Facts

SSDIF door
Technician standing in front of the SSDIF door Technician standing beside HiFi (High Fidelity Mechanical Simulator)

  • At 125 feet (38.1 meters) long, 100 feet (30.48 meters) wide and 89 feet (27.13 meters) high, it can simultaneously hold the entire contents of two Shuttle cargo bays.
  • It is 1,000 times cleaner than a hospital operating room.
  • One whole wall is made up of HEPA filters that remove particles smaller than a red blood cell.
  • Air constantly circulates through the filters, across the room, out tiny holes in the opposite wall, over the ceiling and back through the filters.
  • Two 35-ton cranes are suspended 69 feet (21.03 meters) and 80 feet (24.38 meters) above the floor.
  • A computerized system monitors and controls the environment 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
  • Only properly trained, "bunny-suited" people may enter.
  • For easy identification, astronauts are the only people who wear blue hoods.


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