Friday, 15 January 2010

Not That I'd Ever Use it In Space

My Goddaughter and her partner bought me a Fisher Space Pen for Christmas.  Why would I tell you that?  Well it's rather odd because over the years I've bought a few for people and have always wanted one but have never bought one for myself.  Every time that awkward to write on surface presents itself I used to wonder why I hadn't got one.  Well this morning I was trying to write on a plastic surface which wouldn't accept any of the usual pens so I tried my new pen which I now keep on the desk and use as and when it's needed.  It worked!  Not that I expected that it wouldn't.

Most of us probably know the joke about NASA spending millions developing the Space Pen whilst the Soviets used a pencil so I decided to ask Wikipedia what it had to say on the matter.  Apparently NASA programs have used pencils but because of the danger that a broken-off pencil tip poses in zero gravity and the flammable nature of the wood present in pencils a better solution was needed. NASA never approached Paul Fisher to develop a pen, nor did Fisher receive any government funding for the pen's development. Fisher invented it independently, and then asked NASA to try it. After the introduction of the AG7 Space Pen, both the American and Soviet (later Russian) space agencies adopted it. Previously both the Russian and American astronauts used grease pencils and plastic 'slates'.

Another rumor (which I hadn't heard) has it that the Apollo 11 astronauts accidentally snapped off a switch which was necessary to permit them to fire the engine to return to Earth, and that a Fisher Space Pen was used to press this button. While the incident did occur, Buzz Aldrin has stated that, in fact, he used a felt-tip pen for this.

Whatever, I now have a Space Pen and it works for me.

Thanks guys.


  1. 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1!!!!!!!
    (Or, as my grandson, Jude, age 3, is fond of saying, lately, "Blastar!!!")
    Hey...if it makes sense to him, it makes sense to me.

  2. Not seen one for years. Smart bit of kit.

  3. I know how you love your toys! This could have been invented just for you!