Borates go to space
NASA Space Shuttle included 23,000 ceramic tiles
Many intricacies of space shuttle development are kept under wraps. But it’s no secret that borates played an integral part in keeping our astronauts safe.
Borates, which are used in glass of all types, coated the about 23,000 ceramic tiles on the underside of the space shuttle to help it withstand the thermal shock of reentry. Thermal shock occurs when temperatures change suddenly, as when the shuttle leaves the frigid temperatures of space and reenters Earth’s atmosphere at nearly 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you would like to see a tile firsthand, we invite you to our Visitor Center in Boron, California. The showcased tile is on loan from NASA.