University of Central Missouri acquires space shuttle program memento

Thursday, May 12, 2011 | 7:00 a.m. CDT; updated 10:01 a.m. CDT, Thursday, May 12, 2011

WARRENSBURG — The University of Central Missouri acquired a memento from the space shuttle program.

NASA has donated a spare replacement heat shield tile to the Warrensburg school. The tiles help protect the shuttle during the extreme temperatures it encounters when entering Earth's atmosphere.

The chairman of the school's Department of Aviation, Bill Rankin, says NASA is making a limited number of the tiles available to colleges and universities.

The tile measures about 4-by-5 inches. It's made of molten sand and has a silicon coating.


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