Roscket Tasartir published a video in 2011 in which we can see a space shuttle thermal tile demonstration. The cool thing in there? You could take the tile from a hot oven and then grab it by the corners and still live to tell the story.
Since those space shuttle tiles are made of silica and have over 98% air in them, they are really good thermal insulators and thus you won’t be harmed if you catch them by the corners. Those tiles were glued to the space shuttles and helped those shuttles survive athmospheric re-entry when they came back from the ISS.
Some of those tiles would be destroyed after such an endeavour, but NASA engineers would glue new ones in place. So sad that the space shuttle program has been scrapped. That and many other NASA programs should allow crowdfunding and I bet millions would send over at least 1 USD a month. You would be able to actually get NASA back on track using such a crowdfunding work.
Anyways, this is what science and technology is doing for us: superhot tiles which we can touch and remain unharmed. Damn!