Did you know that with the retirement of the space shuttle program, NASA is offering 7,000 heat shield tiles to American schools and universities that request one? You did. Good for you. But does your school know about it? That is the question you should be asking your school administrators. And soon.
NASA issued a press release on Dec. 1, 2010 announcing the shuttle tile program as a way to “preserve the program’s history and inspire the next generation of space explorers, scientists and engineers.” 7,000 shuttle heat shield tiles are being made available to “schools and universities that want to share technology and a piece of space history with their students.” The lightweight tiles, which protect the shuttles from extreme temperatures when the orbiters re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere, can be requisitioned by schools at http://gsaxcess.gov/NASAWel.htm. There is a nominal fee of $23.40 for shipping and handling, which is a bargain for an actual piece of space history.