NASA Sells Space Food, Shuttle Tiles to Schools

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

If any school wants shelter from scorching heat, they can now get it from NASA.

The U.S. National Aeronautic and Space Administration is offering space shuttle tiles and processed astronaut food to eligible schools and universities as historic artifacts.

The lightweight tiles protected the shuttles from extreme temperatures when the orbiters re-entered the Earth's atmosphere, while space food was precooked so that refrigeration is not required and is ready to eat or could be prepared simply by adding water or by heating.

About 350 packaged meals that astronauts eat in space are currently available for schools' and universities' educational use on a first-come, first-served basis. But the food is "not for consumption" and is restricted for educational use only.

There will be three items (entree, desert, drink packets) in each package. Recipients will be responsible for the shipping and handling fee of $28.03. Payment must be made to the shipping agent with a credit card via a web link provided in the module.

Space food research led to many useful spinoffs for commercial food preparation and packaging processes, while each shuttle has more than 21,000 lightweight tiles that are very effective at throwing off intense heat very, very quickly.

"Tiles for Teachers" are offered for the shipping and handling fee of $23.40.

The tiles are available on a first-come, first-served, one-per-institution basis. A Department of Education statistics tracking number (NCES for schools or IPEDS for universities) is required to register.

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