In the space race with Russia, there came a time when the US realized that
normal pens would not work in weightlessness.
So, they spent $$$ on R&D and came up with an answer.
Million$ of tax dollar$ later, the Space Pen was used by Astronauts. Now,
the general public can buy them.
The Russians came up with a simpler solution.
They used a pencil.
Not only is that a myth, but they are a good pen, they write in the rain,
upside down, would probably work underwater. and they are not expensive.
I've had them for years, worked fantastic when I used to take inventory
outside, rain, snow, any angle of the clip board.
"SteveB" wrote in
Did anyone ever question the problems that would have been created by all
that loose graphite floating around in a space capsule? (If it were true!)
It's amazing how many times this gets repeated.
(1) NASA used pencils up until the time of the Apollo fire. They paid $128
each for them.
(2) Fisher developed the Space Pen independently and had trouble getting
NASA to buy it. Subsequent to the Apollo fire NASA adopted it due to it
having less flammable material in it than the $128 pencils. They paid $6
each for the Space Pens.
(3) In 1969 the Russian space agency adopted the Fisher Space Pen.
(4) I am not sure when the Fisher Space Pen became available to the public,
but I bought one at the local stationers prior to 1972.
(5) In 1998 the QVV shopping network's first sale from Mir was a Fisher
Where has this bombardment occurred? Jurgen Geck, representing SUSE Linux,
is the one who brought it up at a panel discussion, claiming that Windows
was like a Space Pen and Linux was like a pencil.
Interesting though how one urban legend breeds another.
As kids, a friend and I wanted to catch chipmunks in a park. I began
designing a trap after some of the rodent traps I had seen, the kind
with a cage, a trap door, and bait. After much scribbling, I thought
of taking a rope, forming a noose, and placing it over their hole.
So when the chipmunk's little head popped up to look around, I
simply tugged on the rope and presto catcho, easy as pie. (After our
successful hunt, we let them go.) The key was taking into
consideration a simple detail of the circumstance.
Whether or not that pen versus pencil thing is a myth, I am a
believer that such things do happen, simple solutions can be
Like putting pure oxygen into a confined space with electricity, flammable
wiring coating, flammable space suits, flammable seat cushions ........
Were those engineers ever fired? Probably promoted.