Following the return to earth on December 2, 1988, of Orbiter OV-104, Atlantis, it was observed that there was substantial Thermal Protection System (TPS) tile damage present on the lower right fuselage and wing. Damage sites were more numerous than on previous flights and conversely, there was almost no damage present on Atlantis' left side. A review team investigated the cause beginning with a detailed inspection of the Atlantis TPS damage, and a review of related inspection reports to establish an indepth anomaly definition. An exhaustive data review followed. A fault tree and several failure scenarios were developed. Finally, the failure scenarios were categorized as either not possible, possible but not probable, or probable. This and other information gained during the review formed the basis for the team's findings and recommendations. The team concluded that the most probable cause of the severe STS-27R Orbiter tile damage is that the ablative insulating material covering the RH SRB Nose Cap dislodged and struck the Orbiter tile near 85 seconds into flight and possibly that debris from other sources, including repaired insulation and missing joint cork, caused minor tile damage. Findings are presented, and recommendations that are believed pertinent to minimizing the potential for inflight debris are described.