Pens…in…SPAAAAAAAACE!! Had one of these when I was a kid. ‘Bout time I got another one. Thanks Field Notes!
There’s an urban legend that this pen, able to write in zero-g, at extreme temperatures, and underwater, was designed for astronaut use after of years of Apollo-era NASA testing and large sums of government money, while the Soviets solved the same problem by using pencils.
It was actually designed solely by Paul C. Fisher and the Fisher Pen Company, and both the US and Soviet space programs used pencils extensively in the pre-Apollo missions. But pencil graphite can break and create dangerous dust in the spacecraft cabin, and eventually, NASA (and the Soviets) included these pens in the mission gear.
So while these pens did help chronicle our trip to the moon, NASA didn’t drop billions on them. More like $1,200.
Needless to say, though, I’m ready for launch.