TILE FLOWN ON FIRST SIX CHALLENGER MISSIONS.
Challenger-flown LRSI (Low-temperature Reusable Surface Insulation) tile, 6 x 6 inches. Part no V070-391039-043, serial no 008455. Accompanied by "Flown Hardware" tag, printed and completed in manuscript, reading "Orbiter No 099, STS Number 17," (referring to its 17th processing flow), dated November 13, 1984.
The present tile was flown on the first six flights of Challenger: STS-6 (the maiden voyage), STS-7, 8, 41-B, 41-C, and 41-G, before being replaced. These tiles would cover the upper wing near the leading edge. They are also used in selected areas of the forward, mid, and aft fuselage, vertical tail, and the OMS/RCS pods. They protect areas where reentry temperatures are below 1,200°F. The white color is by design and helps to manage heat during orbit when the orbiter is exposed to direct sunlight. LRSI tiles are reusable for up to 100 missions with refurbishment, 100 missions also being the design lifetime of each orbiter. White tiles are rarely available on the market.
Please note that US State Department regulations prohibit the export of Shuttle tiles outside the United States.