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Space Shuttle Tile Goes Missing

Space Shuttle Atlantis on display at the Kennedy Space Center: Photo: KSC Visitor Complex

A piece of the space shuttle has gone missing. A thermal tile went missing from the Atlantis exhibit at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

A NASA docent posted on her Facebook page that someone took the 6 inch by 6 inch black tile while it was out of sight.

The tile, encased in Plexiglas, was a training tile and wasn’t used on a spaceflight mission. The space shuttle was covered in the lightweight thermal tiles to protect it from the heat of re-entry.

Space fans on social media are urging people to keep an eye out for the tile on auction sites, like eBay. Pieces of flown tiles that are authorized for sale on action sites can go for around $700.

Users in online communities like NASASpaceflight.com and Reddit are keeping a watchful eye out for the piece. The serial number starts with VT70-191.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is trying to find the tile and whether the tile was stolen or if it was misplaced.

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Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Are We There Yet?' Host

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration. He also helps produce WMFE's public affairs show "Intersection," working with host ... Read Full Bio »