Tile, High-temperature Reusable Surface Insulation, STS-9

    Usage Conditions Apply

    There are restrictions for re-using this media. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

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    Tile, High-temperature Reusable Surface Insulation, STS-9

    Black insulating tile; flown on STS-9.

    1 of 2

    Usage Conditions Apply

    There are restrictions for re-using this media. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

    View in Mirador Viewer

    Tile, High-temperature Reusable Surface Insulation, STS-9

    Black insulating tile; flown on STS-9.

    2 of 2

Display Status:

This object is on display in the Moving Beyond Earth exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Black reusable insulation tiles shield the entire underside of the Space Shuttle orbiter, as well as portions of the vertical tail, wings, and forward and aft fuselage where temperatures reach 1,200-2,300 degrees F (650-1,260 degrees C) during re-entry into the atmosphere. About 23,000 black tiles are used on those areas of the Shuttle that sustain very high temperatures during descent. NASA transferred to the Museum a number of damaged tiles removed from the orbiter Columbia after the STS-9 mission (1983).