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Space shuttle tile repair training

Space shuttle tile repair training

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Credit

NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Space shuttle tile repair training. NASA astronaut Rex J. Walheim training in the repair of the thermal tiles used on the US space shuttles. He is using a tool similar to a putty knife, to smooth the repair material (orange). The training is taking place in free-fall on a flight of a KC-135 aircraft. Thermal tiles are used on space shuttles to protect them from the heat of re-entry into Earth's atmosphere. Following the break-up of the shuttle Columbia during re-entry in February 2003, due to damage to its thermal tiles, the space shuttles are examined in orbit after each launch. Several in-flight repairs have taken place since the space shuttles resumed service. Photographed on 8 August 2003.

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