The (Red) auction that was held at the Sotheby’s on 23rd November saw a total of 44 items specially curated by Jony Ive and Marc Newson sold to raise funds to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and Malaria in Africa. With most of them themed in the color red, the auction catalogue has a generous load of absolutely bizarre and quirky items. One such item is the 18th product of the lot, a thermal window manufactured to be used on the US Space Shuttle. Both Jony and Marc share the passion for space exploration; their interest was captured by the engineering genius behind the thermal window and the purity of the material used.
Manufactured by Corning Incorporated, Corning Code 7980 fused silica glass was chosen for the Space Shuttle because of its low thermal expansion rate, a high resistance to heat shock, and can withstand operating temperatures up to 1200 degrees centigrade. Jony and Marc specially designed a custom aluminum stand for the window to showcase the engineering brilliance in an elegant sculptural form. Expected to fetch $100,000, the thermal window was sold for $845,000. A Russian cosmonaut space suit, worn last in 1990, was another space exploration related item that was sold at the (Red) auction.