Damon Petty, with United Space Alliance, gets ready to place insulation blankets on the shelf after they have been heated. The blankets fit inside the nose cap of an orbiter. They consist of layered, pure silica felt sandwiched between a layer of silica fabric (the hot side) and a layer of S-Glass fabric. The blanket is through-stitched with pure silica thread in a 1-inch grid pattern. After fabrication, the blanket is bonded directly to the vehicle structure and finally coated with a high purity silica coating that improves erosion resistance. The blankets are semi-rigid and can be made as large as 30 inches by 30 inches.