In the Thermal Protection System Facility, Pilar Ryan, with United Space Alliance, stitches a piece of insulation blanket for Atlantis. In the foreground is a nose ring that will be fitted with the blankets and inserted in the nose cap. In the background on a stand is a cover for the nose cap. The blankets consist of layered, pure silica felt sandwiched between a layer of silica fabric (the hot side) and a layer of S-Glass fabric. The blankets are semi-rigid and can be made as large as 30 inches by 30 inches. 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.