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Images-162 Wow, this sounds like a MAKE article! Our thoughts are with the Discovery crew! Once there, he’ll tug out the ceramic-fabric filler with his gloved hands. If that doesn’t work, he’ll use a makeshift hacksaw to cut away the material, which is sticking out about an inch from two spots near Discovery’s nose. The saw was improvised out of a blade, plastic ties, duct tape, Velcro and other items aboard the space station. [via] Link. Note from the administrator: This link is no longer active.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.



  1. jcantara says:

    I keep seeing this posted everywhere, but no comments as to why the filler is there in the first place, or if it’s necessary. If they can just pull it out and not worry about it, why is it there?


  2. KingCandyCorn says:

    As I understand it, the gap filler is a cermic coated fabric. It is placed between the individual tiles that make up the orbiter thermal protection system. It is in there as a precaution to protect the tiles from damaging each other along their edges. Think of it as protective grout, sort of.

  3. jayfo says:

    I can think of two makeshift astronaut fixes/kludges just off the top of my head.

    1. Buzz Aldrin used a fisher space pen to push a broken circuit breaker back into the switch during Apollo 11.

    2. The CO2 filter scrubber kludge where the astronauts adapted the filter from the LEM to the command module.