I am wondering what are characteristic of heat shield tiles of the
shuttle would be. First it needs to have a high heat insulation as well
as high heat dissipation. I guess it must be quite porous and fully
Am I having any misunderstanding? Please correct me.
The tiles on the bottom of the shuttle are quite simple. They are
comprised of high purity silica with a porosity around 90%. Because of
the low solids content, heat transfer is dominated by thermal
conductivity of the gas within the pores. This material works well for
the belly of the spacecraft as structural characteristics are not of
key importance. The carbon-carbon composites are used for the leading
edges of the vessel.