Available to US citizens only/no export. Massive Space Shuttle Orbiter Thermal Protection System (TPS) tile test fixture assembly, measuring approximately 76″ x 60″ x 10″, featuring 57 black TPS tiles arranged in flight orientation and mounted on a metal panel, marked at the bottom: "VT70-191037-032, 03953 MN0114773, Eng Test." Displayed under plexiglass inside its original NASA crate with "Critical Space Item" labels on the sides. A diagram affixed to the front shows where on the Shuttle wing these tiles (all labeled as "VT70-191037-034") would be attached. In fine condition.
Provenance: The Spaceflight America Museum and Science Center in Prince Frederick, MD, and accompanied by the museum's display placards describing the piece: "Black high-temperature reusable surface insulation (HRSI) tiles provide protection against temperatures up to 1,260˚ C (2,300˚ F). There are 20,548 HRSI tiles which cover the orbiters under surfaces. They are also used in areas on the upper forward fuselage, parts of the orbital maneuvering system pods, vertical stabilizer leading edge, elevon trailing edges, and upper body flap surface as well…This section of tiles comes from the Shuttle left lower wing area. They were prepared by Boeing for NASA in 2005 to support the TPS testing being conducted after the loss of Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-107) on February 1 2003."
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.