Ballpoint pen for astronauts. Not made by NASA or in the USSR

Greetings my dear friends and subscribers ✌

An ordinary ballpoint pen does not work without gravity - it is easy to check this by trying to write with it on an upright wall or by turning it upside down (although it is not clear where a pen has "legs", but that is how it is said ;). Astronauts, on the other hand, either on duty or for personal purposes, often need to take notes or notes. There were no laptops and text editors before, so they wrote in the old way - on paper. But how do you write with a pen in a place where gravity is practically absent?

There is an anecdote about how NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA) spent millions of dollars on inventing a special pen while the witty engineers in the USSR used a regular pencil.

Of course, this is just an anecdote. From the very beginning astronauts both abroad and in our country used pencils and felt-tip pens. But filling felt-tip pencils quickly and unpredictably ended, and instead of lead pencils (which were the source of small debris and conductive dust) they used special wax pencils or mechanical ones. Wax pencils did not write on every surface, and mechanical pencils (taking into account the uniqueness of their production) cost $100 apiece.

The situation changed when the American inventor Paul Fisher offered NASA his AG7 Space Pen, the writing tungsten ball of which was mounted so precisely that, unlike other pens, it almost never leaked. It had a special thixotropic ink (hard in the ordinary state and thinner when writing) squeezed out with compressed nitrogen and was calculated not to fade for 100 years! The pen could write at altitudes of up to 3,800 meters and at temperatures ranging from -35°C to 120°C.

NASA and later USSR bought hundreds of pens that are still used by cosmonauts today (price of one pencil was about $ 6). The inventor did not make a fortune from space contracts, but his company Fisher (which produces and sells Space Pen ballpoint pens to this day) could now proudly write in its commercials "cosmonauts write with our pens!" and this played its part in successful sales.

Thank you all for your attention to my publications, I hope you liked it, come again. 

Sincerely Eduard!


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