Joined: 05 November 2008
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Topic: R & D (Reasearch and Development) Posted: 02 October 2012 at 12:17am
I dont know how far this is true, but It was in a mail I received on the internet today.
When NASA first started sending up astronauts, they quickly discovered that ballpoint pens would not work in zero gravity.
To combat the problem, NASA scientists spent a decade and $12 billion
to develop a pen that writes in zero gravity, upside down, underwater,
on almost any surface including glass and at temperatures ranging from
below freezing to 300 C.
Whenever someone tells you the urban legend “NASA spent millions on a space pen, but the Russians used a pencil,” you can show them this screenshot from the just-launched Soyuz TMA-05M mission to the International Space Station. That’s Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, using a Fisher Space Pen.
The truth is, both Russian and American space travelers used grease pencils on early missions, since standard ballpoints didn’t work in zero gravity. Grease pencils were problematic, however, since floating pencil particles could pose a hazard to electronics and air systems. Paul Fisher developed a thixotropic ink pen that could work in zero-gravity — and gave the idea to NASA for free. Today, both NASA and Roscosmos use Fisher Space Pens.
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