After each flight, the
orbiter thermal protection system is rewaterproofed. Dimethylethoxysilane
is injected into each tile through an existing hole in the surface
coating with a needleless gun, and the AFRSI blankets are injected
with DMES from a needle gun.
The contractors for the
thermal protection system are Vought Corporation, Dallas, Texas
(RCC); Lockheed Missiles and Space Co. Inc., Sunnyvale, Calif. (HRSI
and LRSI and HRSI FRCI-12 tiles); Albany International Research
Co., Dedham, Mass. (Nomex felt); General Electric, Waterford, N.Y.
(room-temperature vulcanizing adhesive); 3M Company, St. Paul, Minn.
(AB312 fibers); Santa Fe Textiles, Santa Ana, Calif. (Inconel 750
wire spring and fabric sleeving); ICI United States, Inc., Wilmington,Del.
(alumina mat); J.P. Stevens Co., Los Angeles, Calif. (quartz thread);
Corning Glass Works, Corning, N.Y. (Macor machinable glass ceramic);
Velcro Corp., New York, N.Y. (Velcro hooks and loops); Prodesco,
Pa. (fibrous pile-S glass); and Rockwell International, Downey,
Calif. (AFRSI quilted fabrics).