KNPB
Log In

Grades

Subjects

Info

Grades

9-12

Accessibility

Auditory, Visual

Permitted Use

Stream, Download and Share


Part of

NASA

0 Downloads

17 Favorites

1137 Views


Making Space Shuttle Tiles

In this video adapted from NASA 360, examine the tiles that protected the space shuttle and its crew from the high temperatures experienced in flight, particularly during reentry. Martin Wilson, manager of NASA’s Thermal Protection Systems Manufacturing Facility, explains the process used to make the tiles, which insulated the body of the shuttle from temperatures that approached 3000°F (1649°C). Learn how the tiles began as a mixture—or slurry—of ceramic fiber, water, and chemical additives that was pressed into blocks. After drying, the blocks were machined to their proper dimensions, coated for strength, and kiln-fired to consolidate, or “sinter.” Wilson demonstrates just how quickly the tile material dissipates heat by touching one straight out of a 2200°F oven. (Don’t try this at home!)

This media asset was adapted from NASA 360: "Kennedy Space Center".

Contributor:
Contributor:
Funder:
Producer: