Exclusive Limited Edition Columbia Space Shuttle Thermal Tile
Exclusive Limited Edition Columbia Space Shuttle Thermal Tile

Exclusive Limited Edition Columbia Space Shuttle Thermal Tile

Regular price $99.95

Exclusive Limited Edition Columbia Space Shuttle Thermal Tile Presentation FrameLimited Edition, Numbered from 1 to 1981

Includes a Statement of Authenticity Card

The Space Store is the sole owner of the only legally owned Space Shuttle thermal tile material for resale. This is an actual piece of thermal tile material that was made in the late 1970s for the Space Shuttle Columbia, the first shuttle to fly into space.

Material Background:Thermal tiles are made of a 'foam glass' material. Each Space Shuttle contains more than 34,000 separate tiles, each specifically cut for its own location, to protect the Shuttle when reentering the Earth's atmosphere. Note: This tile material is not from the loss of STS-107. It comes from the same lot of material originally installed on Columbia

Framing:This exquisite frame includes a large, 1.75 x 2 inch thermal tile section in the center, which is shadowboxed. It includes two enamel pins, STS-1 and STS-107, which represent the first Columbia Mission, as well as the final tragic Columbia Mission, STS-107. It also includes an inscribed plate, which includes information about the Thermal Tile. This is an excellent educational item for students and a must-have for collectors. Product features are presented below. Also see below for more information on how this tile material became commercially available.

  • Custom Frame is 8.125 x 7 inches
  • The tile material is a 1.75 x 2 inch section
  • Includes an inscribed information plaque
  • Includes a Statement of Authenticity Card
  • Includes both wall mounting hardware and an easel back board for desktop display!
  • Note: Tile material is brittle and has a chalky film. This film can get on your hands and irritate the skin if handled directly.

History of the Tile Material:

In October 1978, D.G. Noble was assigned as Chief of U.S. Air Force Quality Assurance

on all NASA contracts at Lockheed Missile and Space Systems in Sunnyvale, California. The main NASA contract at that time was for the production of Space Shuttle tile for the first Space Shuttle to fly in space, Columbia. At that time, Space Shuttle tile was being thrown into a large discard receptacle. There were no strict policies in effect at that time, precluding removal of anything from these receptacles. Noble's interest in the discarded tile was as an insulating material for a fireplace, so he removed enough material to accomplish this purpose. A few years later, a NASA representative came to Noble's home to discuss when and how he obtained the discarded Space Shuttle tile. NASA concluded that Noble had obtained the tile legally which could also be sold commercially.This was reaffirmed in a letter from the Inspector General for NASA to Michael Noble in June 22, 1994 letter from George T. Lenehan, Chief Counsel, Office of the Chief Counsel, for Ames Research Center, NASA. The Space Store legally purchased Mr. Noble's entire thermal tile material stock in July, 2009.