A thermal tile that composes the bottom of the space shuttle which helps the whole spacecraft stay cool during re-entry has been reported stolen from the Shuttle Atlantis’s display exhibit at NASA Kennedy Space Center on Sunday April 9, according to freelance photographer Brandon Thonen who has worked on projects at NASA Kennedy before and is familiar with the situation.
“It was never used on a shuttle, it was just for training purposes,” Thonen told Popular Mechanics.
The stolen thermal from the shuttle is a 6-inch square black tile encased in plexiglass that is used at Kennedy Space Center for educational purposes. It has serial number VT70—191 with three additional digits that are unknown at this moment.
If a Space Shuttle tile that is matching this description on e-commerce sites online such as Amazon or eBay or for sale elsewhere online should be treated with suspicion and even if possibly reported to authorities because it might as well be the stolen tile.