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4/22/2019 5:32:20 PM
Posted: 10/31/2004 8:43:26 PM EDT
It seems like a waste to me...when pencils would have worked just fine.
Link Posted: 10/31/2004 8:45:05 PM EDT
Id have to say yes.

Link Posted: 10/31/2004 8:47:02 PM EDT
No way, love my space pen. Lets me do work that needs to be in ink anywhere.
Link Posted: 10/31/2004 8:48:08 PM EDT

Not this shit again!!!

www.snopes.com/business/genius/spacepen.asp

Government never spent a cent on the development of the Space Pen.
Link Posted: 10/31/2004 8:48:25 PM EDT
I believe it was a private company that developed it - no government funding or tax money was used, IIRC.



Link Posted: 10/31/2004 8:48:36 PM EDT
I don't think so. I always find myself having to write upside down while in a 300 degree environment.
Link Posted: 10/31/2004 8:51:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By XM777:
Not this shit again!!!

www.snopes.com/business/genius/spacepen.asp

Government never spent a cent on the development of the Space Pen.


The lesson of this anecdote is a valid one, that we sometimes expend a great deal of time, effort, and money to create a "high-tech" solution to a problem, when a perfectly good, cheap, and simple solution is right before our eyes. The anecdote offered above isn't a real example of this syndrome, however. Fisher did ultimately develop a pressurized pen for use by NASA astronauts (now known as the famous "Fisher Space Pen"), but both American and Soviet space missions initially used pencils, NASA did not seek out Fisher and ask them to develop a "space pen," Fisher did not charge NASA for the cost of developing the pen, and the Fisher pen was eventually used by both American and Soviet astronauts.

Here's how Fisher themselves described it:

NASA never asked Paul C. Fisher to produce a pen. When the astronauts began to fly, like the Russians, they used pencils, but the leads sometimes broke and became a hazard by floating in the [capsule's] atmosphere where there was no gravity. They could float into an eye or nose or cause a short in an electrical device. In addition, both the lead and the wood of the pencil could burn rapidly in the pure oxygen atmosphere. Paul Fisher realized the astronauts needed a safer and more dependable writing instrument, so in July 1965 he developed the pressurized ball pen, with its ink enclosed in a sealed, pressurized ink cartridge. Fisher sent the first samples to Dr. Robert Gilruth, Director of the Houston Space Center. The pens were all metal except for the ink, which had a flash point above 200°C. The sample Space Pens were thoroughly tested by NASA. They passed all the tests and have been used ever since on all manned space flights, American and Russian. All research and developement costs were paid by Paul Fisher. No development costs have ever been charged to the government.

Because of the fire in Apollo 1, in which three Astronauts died, NASA required a writing instrument that would not burn in a 100% oxygen atmosphere. It also had to work in the extreme conditions of outer space:
In a vacuum.
With no gravity.
In hot temperatures of +150°C in sunlight and also in the cold shadows of space where the temperatures drop to -120°C
(NASA tested the pressurized Space Pens at -50°C, but because of the residential [sic] heat in the pen it also writes for many minutes in the cold shadows.)

Fisher spent over one million dollars in trying to perfect the ball point pen before he made his first successful pressurized pens in 1965. Samples were immediately sent to Dr. Robert Gilruth, Manager of the Houston Space Center, where they were thoroughly tested and approved for use in Space in September 1965. In December 1967 he sold 400 Fisher Space Pens to NASA for $2.95 each.

Lead pencils were used on all Mercury and Gemini space flights and all Russian space flights prior to 1968. Fisher Space Pens are more dependable than lead pencils and cannot create the hazard of a broken piece of lead floating through the gravity-less atmosphere.
Sightings: This legend was mentioned in an episode of NBC's The West Wing TV series ("We Killed Yamamoto"; original air date 15 May 2002).
Link Posted: 10/31/2004 8:54:02 PM EDT
It wasn't a waste of taxpayers money


it was developed by a private company ON THEIR OWN
Link Posted: 10/31/2004 8:55:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/31/2004 8:56:39 PM EDT by gaspain]
cool, I was wrong. Sorry for the waste of time.

But NASA does use them apperently they are useful...
Link Posted: 10/31/2004 8:57:55 PM EDT
just create an artificial gravity feild around the space ship...
Link Posted: 10/31/2004 9:15:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By gaspain:
cool, I was wrong. Sorry for the waste of time.

But NASA does use them apperently they are useful...


They gave me one as a going away gift from JPL. I like using it.

CW
Link Posted: 10/31/2004 9:48:43 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/31/2004 10:05:17 PM EDT
The Russians used a pencil....
Link Posted: 10/31/2004 10:14:36 PM EDT
Compared to all the other ways the taxpayers money is wasted, it sems like a bargain to me. Just look at the man hours that are put into tax code revisions every year!
Link Posted: 10/31/2004 10:17:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Sharkman629:
Compared to all the other ways the taxpayers money is wasted, it sems like a bargain to me. Just look at the man hours that are put into tax code revisions every year!



Have to agree with that.

I dont like to think about the way money is pissed away though, pisses me off
Link Posted: 10/31/2004 11:32:26 PM EDT
the space pen was also used to trip a broken switch on Apollo 13(?)... it was the only tool they had that would fit... so it SAVED one mission and three astronauts.

Fisher Space Pen Co. is in Boulder City, NV, just a stone's throw away from here. (ok, a stone's throw in lunar gravity)

Paul Fisher also authored "The Plan" www.hydeparkmedia.com/fisher.html and is probably somewhere between Liberternian and Constitutionalist... he also ran against JFK in '60 and is no fan of the IRS.
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 12:32:11 AM EDT
No. It was not a waste of money.


It made a funny Sienfeld episode.
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 1:43:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By gaspain:
It seems like a waste to me...when pencils would have worked just fine.



So, what do you do when your pencil breaks? Do you think that tiny shavings of lead and wood floating around in zero-g around multimillion dollar electronics is a GOOD idea?
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 1:57:08 AM EDT
Nothing like a little conductive graphite floating around!!!
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 1:59:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By rainman:
No. It was not a waste of money.


It made a funny Sienfeld episode.




They made a funny one?
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 2:10:40 AM EDT
My Space Pen has been a faithful companion since 1977… a pencil woiuld have worn away many years ago!

Andy
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 3:35:43 AM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:
My Space Pen has been a faithful companion since 1977… a pencil woiuld have worn away many years ago!

Andy



Andy,

The same one since '77?

Since one of my "hobbies" is losing Fisher Space Pens, I am very impressed if that is the case.

I lost my last one a few months ago and haven't replaced it yet. I do miss it. I'd had it for about 5 years when I lost it, too; it had a little sentimental value attached to it.hrisBaghdad
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 4:41:36 AM EDT

Since one of my "hobbies" is losing Fisher Space Pens, I am very impressed if that is the case.


Funny you should mention that. I just noticed i have had the same pen in my work shirts for about 8 years now without even realizing it. its just a cheap parker jotter though.

Of course i lose EXPENSIVE fountain pens all the friggin time. I guess I can only keep track of cheap pens.
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 4:43:23 AM EDT

Originally Posted By THellURider:
The Russians used a pencil....



They also armed their space vehicles ---- we don't ...........
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 5:00:13 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 5:08:01 AM EDT
It's kind of hard to be nit-picky about a freaking PEN when the whole damn SPACE PROGRAM has been such a gigantic redistribution of wealth.

My take on the space program has always been that it was good PR for the nutjobs who wanted to research and develop ICBMs so they could end the world. In some sense, NASA has always been sort of a front operation for much more devious enterprises.
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 5:29:35 AM EDT
I like mine, I just haven't been able to try it out in space yet.

GM

Link Posted: 11/1/2004 5:32:33 AM EDT
Its a waste of time and tax payers money.
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 5:39:47 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 5:49:46 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 5:50:18 AM EDT
Werner Von Braun didn't think so.
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 5:52:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/1/2004 5:53:48 AM EDT by green-grizzly]
I had one once, and it was a really nice pen. I personally have recieved more benefit from that pen than 99% of the other government programs.
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 5:58:28 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 6:01:49 AM EDT
Whatever happened to Space Food Sticks ?????
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 6:02:40 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 6:15:58 AM EDT
Either reading comprehension in this thread is for shit or very few people actually read the thread before posting.

Bob
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 6:22:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Land:

Originally Posted By vito113:
My Space Pen has been a faithful companion since 1977… a pencil woiuld have worn away many years ago!

Andy



Andy,

The same one since '77?

Since one of my "hobbies" is losing Fisher Space Pens, I am very impressed if that is the case.

I lost my last one a few months ago and haven't replaced it yet. I do miss it. I'd had it for about 5 years when I lost it, too; it had a little sentimental value attached to it.

Regards,
Chris
Baghdad



Same one… I was very possessive of it! You don't 'lose' them, people take them!

Take care over there in Baghdad…

Andy
Link Posted: 11/1/2004 6:24:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 82ndAbn:

Originally Posted By green-grizzly:
I had one once, and it was a really nice pen. I personally have recieved more benefit from that pen than 99% of the other government programs.



It wasn't a government program. hinking.gif


The original post gave that impression, but you are entirely correct. Link.
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