Thermal Protection Systems
materials, chosen for their weight efficiency and stability at
high temperatures, are used.
RCC protects areas where temperatures exceed 2,300 degrees F during
Reusable Surface Insulation Tiles
Black tiles are applied on areas where temperatures do not exceed
2,300 degrees F.
Refractory Composite Insulation Tiles
Black tiles developed later in the program replace some HRCI tiles.
Low-Temperature Reusable Surface Insulation Tiles White tiles are
used in areas where temperatures do not exceed 1,200 degrees F.
Low-Temperature Reusable Surface Insulation Tiles
The LRSI tiles are of the same construction and have the same basic
functions as the 99.8-percent-pure silica HRSI tiles, but they are
thinner than HRSI tiles.
Flexible Reusable Surface Insulation Blankets
Quilted composite fabric replaced most of the LRSI tiles.
Reusable Surface Insulation
Nomex felt blankets are used on the payload bay doors and
other areas where temperatures do not exceed 700 degrees F.
Various materials are used to fill in gaps.
Each tile has a unique ID code.
Flags and letters are painted on.
After each flight the orbiter is rewaterproofed.
List of contractors for the thermal protection system.