Share
 

Ask an Explainer

Q:

Why is the Space Shuttle covered with little squares?

A:

The little squares on the Space Shuttle are called shuttle tiles. Shuttle tiles prevent the Space Shuttle from overheating upon reentry. They are made of silica, a good thermal insulator. This means that when the outer surface gets hot, the silica ensures that the heat takes a long time to travel deeper into the Space Shuttle’s skin.