Glossary of Space Exploration Terminology

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Thermal Tile
Thermal tile
Silica fiber insulation used to protect 70% of the exterior of the Space Shuttle orbiter against reentry temperatures of up to 1430oC. Surface heat dissipates so rapidly that an uncoated tile can be held by its edges with the bare hand while its interior glows red hot.

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Rocketry & Space Technology

Glossary courtesy of Robert Braeunig's
Rocketry & Space Technology website.