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  NASA offers 7,000 space shuttle tiles to schools

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Author Topic:   NASA offers 7,000 space shuttle tiles to schools
Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-01-2010 10:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
NASA Offers Space Shuttle Tiles To Schools And Universities

As the Space Shuttle Program nears retirement, NASA is looking for ways to preserve the program's history and inspire the next generation of space explorers, scientists and engineers. Beginning Wednesday, NASA is offering 7,000 shuttle heat shield tiles to schools and universities that want to share technology and a piece of space history with their students.

The lightweight tiles protect the shuttles from extreme temperatures when the orbiters re-enter the Earth's atmosphere. Schools can request a tile at:

gsaxcess.gov/NASAWel.htm

Click on the tile icon to log on to the request page. A login ID and password may be obtained by registering on the link provided. A Department of Education statistics tracking number (NCES for schools or IPEDS for universities) is needed to register. Hyperlinks are available to these sites to find a specific institution's tracking number.

The requests will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Only one tile will be given per institution.

Because the tiles are government property, a transfer protocol is observed. Recipients will be responsible for a shipping and handling fee of $23.40, which is payable to the shipping company through a secure website.

Fezman92
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posted 12-01-2010 10:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is going to be a great opportunity for many schools to get students into STEM areas.

xlsteve
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From: Holbrook MA, USA
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posted 12-01-2010 10:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for xlsteve   Click Here to Email xlsteve     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I forwarded this to my wife to see if her school wants to participate. And so I can selfishly get to see it myself if they do!

BMckay
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posted 12-01-2010 11:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for BMckay   Click Here to Email BMckay     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is great to see the schools get them but I bet they will tend to sit in a closet more then be used for science demonstrations. The blow torch demonstration is the best you can do with the tile.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-01-2010 11:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Depending on the age of the students, the blow torch demonstration can account for a fairly substantial science lesson.

I can think of a number of other uses for tiles in a classroom setting, though.

Each of the tiles are waterproofed pre-flight, which can be and has been adapted for another demonstration.

More broadly, the tiles can be used in lessons about material science, astronautics, thermodynamics and engineering. And let's not forget the social sciences -- the tiles could be an excellent way to introduce and engage students in the history of the space shuttle program.

Fezman92
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posted 12-01-2010 12:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by BMckay:
It is great to see the schools get them but I bet they will tend to sit in a closet more then be used for science demonstrations.
That may be the case for some schools (I know that my former high school would just put it into the closet and forget about it) but not all. The worst thing that could happen is that someone steals one.

xlsteve
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From: Holbrook MA, USA
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posted 12-01-2010 12:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for xlsteve   Click Here to Email xlsteve     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My wife's school would be using it for science, but also for the engineering/technology track they have at the high school level. That course covers different types of transportation -- including space transportation where they discuss the shuttle.

dantheman
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posted 12-01-2010 07:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dantheman   Click Here to Email dantheman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My wife Michelle and I (science and math teacher respectively in Chicago) both hold and plan a Space Week and Space Night program at our schools in the spring. This year I am putting together a display of items I have collected from the group as well as some of my own items purchased from the KSC as well as signed photos from astronauts I have written. I would love to get one for each of our schools. Thanks for the offer.

tegwilym
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From: Renton, WA USA
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posted 12-02-2010 12:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Can a JPL Solar System ambassador get one if I promise to torch it every time I give some kind of presentation?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-02-2010 12:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Perhaps you could partner with a school local to you and then perhaps they would let you borrow it for your presentations...

Daugherty54
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From: Cabot, Arkansas, USA
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posted 12-03-2010 12:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daugherty54   Click Here to Email Daugherty54     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have applied and been approved already as has my wife for her school.

cfreeze79
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From: Martinez, CA, USA
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posted 01-20-2011 11:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cfreeze79   Click Here to Email cfreeze79     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The high school where I teach (Oakland Aviation High School) got our tile today.

Hey Robert, any chance of you maintaining a database of the location of these educational tiles? Also, is there any way to found out when/if our tile was flown?

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 01-24-2011 04:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cfreeze79:
Hey Robert, any chance of you maintaining a database of the location of these educational tiles?
NASA, of course, has such a database by nature of the way these were fulfilled. Perhaps I can request and host the record on collectSPACE. I'll find out...
quote:
Also, is there any way to found out when/if our tile was flown?
My understanding is that these tiles were all spares, prepared for flight but never flown. The examples I've seen thus far, including yours, do not appear to have been mounted to felt strain isolation pads or have remnants of the RTV silicone adhesive used to attach the tiles to the orbiters.

xlsteve
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From: Holbrook MA, USA
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posted 01-25-2011 08:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for xlsteve   Click Here to Email xlsteve     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
My understanding is that these tiles were all spares, prepared for flight but never flown...

I helped my wife register and request one for her school last night. The material data sheet has a place where it indicates whether the item was flown or not, and the tiles have a 'no' in that field.

apolloprojeckt
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posted 01-25-2011 10:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for apolloprojeckt   Click Here to Email apolloprojeckt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This shuttle tile project for schools is only for American schools? Or outside America, a math teacher friend of mine had also sign, but was told no, I thought that other countries also participated and especially those with their projects for the shuttle program over the past 30 years.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-25-2011 10:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The tile program is only open to U.S. schools with a Department of Education tracking number.

NASA's Space Shuttle Transition Working Group's Shuttle Tiles Disposition Process and Procedures Plan addressed export of the tiles.

ITAR and Export Control Issues

The Space Shuttle is captured under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) categories IV and XV, which include all specifically designed or modified systems or subsystems, components, parts, accessories, attachments, and associated equipment for the Space Shuttle. The Shuttle Thermal Protection System, including the tiles, is controlled for export purposes under the ITAR. A license from the Department of State is required to transfer the tiles to a foreign person either inside or outside the United states. Any tiles transferred to a U.S. person shall be accompanied by a notice indicating to the recipient the export control classification, license requirements to transfer the tiles to a foreign person, and requirement to comply with U.S. export control laws and regulations.
Further, the program was carried out under the Stevenson-Wydler Act, which assists in national education goals by the transfer of NASA-owned excess research equipment to educational organizations and nonprofit institutions for the conduct of technical and scientific education and research activities.

xlsteve
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posted 01-25-2011 04:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for xlsteve   Click Here to Email xlsteve     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My wife's school has been approved, so the tile should be on its way. My wife, the technology teacher and the principal are pretty excited about it. They thanked me for finding this opportunity, but I told them the thanks belongs to Robert for publicizing it on collectSPACE. I was just paying attention.

Of course, I'm not completely selfless in this, as I want to be able to check it out myself!

jam1970
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From: Chillicothe, Ohio, usa
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posted 01-25-2011 08:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jam1970   Click Here to Email jam1970     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My wife just ordered one this morning and is waiting on approval. I find it fascinating how many of us collectors have wives that teach.

Thanks for the link Robert.

stsmithva
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From: Fairfax, VA, USA
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posted 01-25-2011 08:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for stsmithva   Click Here to Email stsmithva     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We received ours last week. With the luck of the draw we ended up with a tiny one the size of a DVD case, all white with no markings, but it's still great to have.

(Incidentally, the tile only had to go about five miles from a warehouse in Manassas, VA to get to us.)

saturn1b
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From: Westcliffe, CO
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posted 01-25-2011 09:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for saturn1b   Click Here to Email saturn1b     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No markings... that sounds a little odd. I thought that every tile had a couple of sets of numbers so they know exactly where it was located on the shuttle. Any thoughts or explanation? We actually applied for ours just yesterday, we'll let you know what becomes of that.

xlsteve
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From: Holbrook MA, USA
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posted 02-08-2011 11:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for xlsteve   Click Here to Email xlsteve     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My wife's school received their tile this morning. I haven't seen it yet, but the material that came with the tile recommends that it be left in the shrink wrap it was delivered in, and not exposed to an open flame "until more data is available."

Given that I'm wondering what others who have received tiles are going to use the it for in their classrooms.

ON EDIT: My wife brought the tile home for me to look at, see the pic below. She is asking if there's any way to find out where the tile would have been installed on the orbiter.

IMG_4209

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-20-2011 05:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Marco Eagle out of Marco Island, Fla. shares a good example of how the tiles are being received and used in schools.
On an ordinary school day at Tommie Barfield Elementary (TBE), via a UPS delivery, an extraordinary piece of history was delivered.

After opening the package from Capital Exhibits Services, fifth grade students of Mabel Pena's science class gathered around a shrink-wrapped tile. With wonderment, they gazed at the small white tile thinking about its long journey into space as one of 24,000 other thermal protection system tiles from one of five different NASA space shuttles. It will reside at TBE permanently.


Credit: Marco Eagle

"It is so cool to think that the tile actually came from a shuttle," said student Mariana Ruiz-Vallejo...

Plans are to display the tile in a sealed Plexiglas box along with a model of a space shuttle...

"We just finished a unit on earth and space science and just began studying thermal energy, force and motion and the different types of solar energy, so the special delivery fit right into our lessons. We are talking about insulators, conductors and how the tiles are used as insulation on the shuttles as they reenter the atmosphere. The tiles keep the heat out and prevent the shuttle from blowing up," said Pena of the lessons developed in conjunction with the tile.

As a class project, the students are now thinking of materials suitable for making small replicas of the tile, she explained.

Daugherty54
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From: Cabot, Arkansas, USA
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posted 02-20-2011 05:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daugherty54   Click Here to Email Daugherty54     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My wife and I both teach - me at the high school and her at the junior high - and we both have requested and received tiles.

Hers is smaller and dark gray whereas mine is about 9" square, white, with a convex surface. The gray tiles were generally from the lower body while the white were on the upper parts.

We both bought a football display case and small pedestal to display these in with appropriate pictures of launches we have been to. Our students are fascinated by these tiles.

sfurtaw
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From: Saginaw, MI USA
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posted 03-10-2011 06:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sfurtaw   Click Here to Email sfurtaw     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My wife's school received hers today. We are all interested in where this tile would have been mounted.

The tile number is V070-395907-122-008828. It's a black tile which is 4-1/4" high and 5/8" deep. It is slightly curved, such that on top it is 5-7/8" wide, and on the bottom it is 5-1/2" wide. From the top (numbers facing up), it is also slightly convex.

Judging by its thickness and shape, my best guess says that it would have been located on the top of the orbiter either near the windows or closer to the nose. If anyone can help, it would be greatly appreciated.

saturn1b
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posted 04-19-2011 09:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for saturn1b   Click Here to Email saturn1b     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just happen to have been at the 27th annual National Space Symposium when I got word that our tile had arrived. When I got back to the shop, I built a display case for it and we will present it to the local school to display in their library.

Not the most impressive tile but cool none-the-less.

Fezman92
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posted 04-19-2011 09:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How many tiles have been given out and what will they do with them if there aren't any more requests?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-19-2011 09:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Fezman92:
...what will they do with them if there aren't any more requests?
According to NASA's tile disposition plan:
Any tiles that may require disposition at a future date, and not desired by a museum or academic institution should be destroyed rather than enter the GSAXcess disposition system for sale.
The space agency cites medical, export and liability concerns as reasons why the tiles cannot be sold or otherwise made available to the general public. That said, they anticipate that all the tiles will be claimed by museum or academic institutions.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-22-2011 10:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cfreeze79:
Also, is there any way to found out when/if our tile was flown?
NASA has confirmed that all the tiles distributed through the Tiles for Teachers program were never flown.

But for those wanting to know where their tile would have been installed on the orbiter had it been used, see: Locating space shuttle tiles by number.

saturn1b
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From: Westcliffe, CO
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posted 04-22-2011 05:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for saturn1b   Click Here to Email saturn1b     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for putting that locating link up Robert. Would you happen to know what 'Instrumented All Over' means? That appears to be what we have in the photo.

xlsteve
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From: Holbrook MA, USA
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posted 04-26-2011 08:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for xlsteve   Click Here to Email xlsteve     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the location information, Robert. I forwarded this to my wife at her school. Looks like they have one that would have been on the underside of the right wing. Pretty cool.

spaceman1953
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posted 04-26-2011 11:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceman1953   Click Here to Email spaceman1953     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Other than putting these tiles in a "tree limb grinder"-type device and making powder residue out of them, how do "you" destroy something that was meant to do the work these tiles were meant to do? (Dumb question of the month, I know!)

ww2_1943
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posted 08-16-2011 12:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ww2_1943   Click Here to Email ww2_1943     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I registered today to claim a space shuttle tile for the school I teach in. Unfortunately they have run out. Hopefully they will find some more.

On edit: Looks like they will accept requests again starting September 12.

Spaceguy5
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From: Pampa, TX, US
Registered: May 2011

posted 08-18-2011 11:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceguy5   Click Here to Email Spaceguy5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by spaceman1953:
...how do "you" destroy something that was meant to do the work these tiles were meant to do?
Each flown tile was buried in a landfill on KSC property. A very sad end for such historical and important items.

sfurtaw
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From: Saginaw, MI USA
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posted 01-19-2012 01:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sfurtaw   Click Here to Email sfurtaw     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My wife's school has a tile, and the principal is unsure of how to display it. Her concerns are protection from damage, and, due to the value of the tile, preventing someone from walking off with it (not likely, but always possible). Other that Saturn1b's nice case, what have others done (or seen done) for a school display?

Spaceguy5
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From: Pampa, TX, US
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posted 01-19-2012 02:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceguy5   Click Here to Email Spaceguy5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For my tile, I just bought a cheap plastic display case from Displays2Go, built a cheap holder (carved out of cheap foam from Walmart, made just large enough to hold the tile securely, and with the part that makes contact with the tile covered in a trash bag to prevent damage and contamination), then coated the outside of the foam in black construction paper with information cards glued on.

The only thing to watch out for is that you won't want someone to pick up the display case unless they're careful. On mine, I glued the display to the bottom of the case, and also made a very tight fit on the tile to help secure it in place, although I still would not want to see the tile come loose. The clear part simply sits on top of the base. To make it more secure, I taped it in place with two pieces of scotch tape.

Right now, that website has a 10x10x10 acrylic case, similar to what I used, on sale for $16.36. SKU#: DPCAB006.

Shuttle Endeavour
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posted 11-26-2013 08:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Shuttle Endeavour   Click Here to Email Shuttle Endeavour     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does NASA allow these tiles to be gifted to general public if you e-mail GSA?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-26-2013 09:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Tiles are only available to educational institutions and museums with the proper federal registration.
Special Items (such as a Thermal Protective Tile, Astronaut Food Package or Turbine Blade ) may only be requested by educational organizations participating in the Department of Education statistical monitoring as indicated by their assigned NCES number (for schools) and IPEDS number (for colleges and universities) and nonā€profit museums sponsored by their State Agency for Surplus Property (SASP).
Further, only an Approving Official may request a title.
The Approving Official for a school may only be the Assistant Principal, Principal or the Superintendent; the Approving Official for a college or university may only be Dean, Department Chairman or President.

Shuttle Endeavour
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posted 11-26-2013 09:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Shuttle Endeavour   Click Here to Email Shuttle Endeavour     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No, I mean are the schools allowed to sell them after they are done using them?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-26-2013 09:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Recipients of NASA artifacts are required to sign a conditional transfer agreement that requires that the artifact (e.g. tile) be used for the purposes defined by the offer (in this case educational or display use) for a period of no less than five years.

During this time, the recipient may not "sell, trade, lease, lend, bail, cannibalize, encumber, or otherwise dispose" of the artifact. At the end of the restricted period, the recipient will receive a release document from the State Department.

Only then, can the school or museum consider releasing the artifact, while still being bound by State Department ITAR restrictions and other applicable laws and guidelines.

As the tile offer began in December 2010, the earliest any school or museum could consider releasing one to another party would be December 2015.

All times are CT (US)

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