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Old 10-05-2006, 07:42 PM   #1
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Default Thats NASA for ya

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 300C.

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The Russians used a pencil.
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Old 10-05-2006, 07:44 PM   #2
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Sorry Gramps:

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

And Russian pencils don't write on glass very well.

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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'*] 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 200C. 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.
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Old 10-05-2006, 07:48 PM   #3
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Dangit, I looked that up too
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Old 10-05-2006, 07:53 PM   #4
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way to take the fun out of a joke Bill
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Old 10-05-2006, 07:56 PM   #5
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by willwren
Sorry Gramps:

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

And Russian pencils don't write on glass very well.

Quote:
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'*] 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 200C. 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.
you take the point out of the joke too...see because americans would spend millions of dollars on something useless just to be different.
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Old 10-05-2006, 11:00 PM   #6
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My wife bought me a Fisher Space Pen for our anniversary. It'* the pen I use every time I'm flying
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