Lot #3567
Space Shuttle Main Wheel and Tire Assembly

This lot has closed

Estimate: $5000+

Description

Space Shuttle main wheel and tire assembly, featuring a Michelin Air 44.5 x 16.0-21 size tire mounted on the wheel assembly. The wheel has been painted yellow, indicating that it was used to replace the flight wheels during ground servicing of the orbiters at Kennedy Space Center. It is possible that the wheel was previously flown, then painted and repurposed for subsequent ground operations.

Michelin took over as the sole supplier for Space Shuttle tires in 1989 when the company purchased BFGoodrich, which had manufactured the tires since the first Shuttle launch in 1981. Michelin continued to improve upon the BFGoodrich design, and the first set of Michelin Air tires were used in 1995. Space Shuttle tires were filled with nitrogen (as are most aircraft tires) due to its stability at different altitudes and temperatures. As a result of extremely heavy loads, the bias ply tire was inflated to 340 psi and engineered to tolerate rapid temperature changes from in excess of -40 degrees Fahrenheit in space to +130 degrees on landing in a matter of minutes.

While Shuttle tires have previously been available to collectors, this is the first complete Space Shuttle Orbiter Tire/Wheel assembly we are aware of that has been offered at auction.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Space
  • Dates: #619 - Ended October 21, 2021