never not funny
Though all mentions of space pens ultimtely serve to remind me of So You Want To Be A Wizard, hahaha.
This is some how one of the most excellent examples I’ve ever heard of, of ‘making do with what you have / prioritising with money’ and not. The privilege involved. Granted this doesn’t happen just with countries, governments and economies. But it’s so bloody excellent. Cause in my head I keep thinking of who would look down at the Russians for using a pencil, and calling them poor. When perhaps the money the US spent on developing that pen, could have gone to other things; further improved current things.
Dude, okay, I gotta step in.
This is all false. FALSE.
In the early days of the space program, everyone used grease pencils or regular pencils, because, yeah, ballpoint pens will not work. But that was some dangerous shit there, ‘cause you get a broken lead in space, that motherfucker’s flying around FOREVER and is just waiting to get into your face or into that expensive and vital piece of electronics.
And when you sharpen it, then you got bits of graphite dust and wood all over the place too and you can pretend to clean it all up, but there will always be a bit sticking around fucking up the works.
So this dude, Paul Fisher, started playing around and experimenting and came up with a pen that would totally work in space. It did all the things that they say up there on the back of that pencil, and, yeah, they invested a million to make it work.
BUT NASA DIDN’T INVEST THAT MILLION.
The Fisher Pen company invested all the money, working it out. And even after they designed the pen, NASA didn’t buy it for a few years, ‘cause they had gotten burned in a mechanical pencil deal and they didn’t want to be seen as wasting more taxpayer money. They started using them in 1967, and have been using them ever since.
And then the Soviet Union started buying the pens in 1969, because they saw a good thing and it beat those grease pencils.
So this pencil? It’s bullshit. You could call it a US Space Pen or a Russian Space Pen or what-fucking-ever. But the Fisher Space Pen pwns them all.
(And all this info: From NASA’s History site.)