Collections - Space
Vintage Systems

Shuttle Insulation Blanket

This is a "FLOWN" NASA Space Shuttle Orbiter Insulating Protective Blanket. Unfortunately, there isn't documentation to prove it. :-(

This blanket was designed to protect the Space Shuttle from high speed flying objects such as space born micro-meteoroids.

It consists of a heavily woven Aramid Kevlar fabric bordered with a high temperature and high strength Kapton foil that was used to protect the Space Shuttle structure from solar radiation. There is a high strength stainless steel thread used to reenforced this space artifact. If you observe photos of the Space shuttle Cargo Bay you will notice extensive use of these blankets.

This is an excellent example of a flown blanket. It is made of a Beta-Cloth material developed to be fire resistant. If you observe photos of the Space shuttle Cargo Bay you will notice extensive use of these blankets.

Most blankets are periodically replaced on a scheduled basis with these flown articles discarded as scrap. NASA even stencils the word "SCRAP" in red ink so they will not be mistakenly used again.

The documentation includes an orange tag and a scrap matrix document. This item was originally acquired at public Auction in 2000 from an ex-NASA employee.

Front view:
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The shape is closer to being triangular rather than rectangular.

Rear view:
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The tag (difficult to see in this picture) contains:

Front view with the cut flap pushed open:
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This blanket was examined after removal by NASA contractor personnel by cutting a small square opening in the top surface. All the material still remains.

NASA Scrap Matrix (photocopy):
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This sheet describes the reason the item is being scrapped. The blanket is item 1238 (NASA Part Number V070-362157-014).

NASA Q/A Tag Front View:
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NASA Q/A Tag Rear View:
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This tag contains information relating to the blanket.