Shuttle Re-entry -image: Don Cochrane

NASA is giving away 7000 heat tiles to educators across the country. If you are an educator please take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity to have a piece of history in your classroom.

“As the Space Shuttle Program nears retirement, NASA is looking for ways to preserve the program’s history and inspire the next generation of space explorers, scientists and engineers. Beginning Wednesday, NASA is offering 7,000 shuttle heat shield tiles to schools and universities that want to share technology and a piece of space history with their students. ” – NASA

To sign up go to this page and register.

There are over 20,000 tiles on the Shuttle.

Tiles are made of ceramic materials and must be able to withstand a temperature of nearly 3,000 oF. These are known as HRSI (High-Temperature Reusable Surface Insulation) tiles.

“There are two different densities of HRSI tiles. The first weighs 22 pounds per cubic foot and is used in all areas around the nose and main landing gears, nose cap interface, wing leading edge, RCC/HRSI interface, external tank/orbiter umbilical doors, vent doors and vertical stabalizer leading edge. The remaining areas use tiles that weigh 9 pounds per cubic foot.” – NASA
NASA does not specify which tiles are included in the 7000 giveaway.

Read more about the Shuttle HRSI Tiles here.

Inspecting tiles in space – photo credit: NYTimes