ablation shield

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The heat shield on a spacecraft to protect it during re-entry. The intense heat generated by friction during the high-speed entry of the craft into the Earth's atmosphere burns away ablative (evaporating) materials on the heat shield, absorbing the heat and protecting the craft. The space shuttle uses a different kind of non-ablative protection made up of thousands of heat-absorbing tiles.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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