Productivity guru Merlin Mann — in one of the most “hilariously titled posts”:http://www.43folders.com/2006/05/08/space-pen-myth/ since the “Tulip Revolution”:http://www.slate.com/id/2115285/ — weighs in with some “space pen”:http://www.fisherpen.com/ nerdery disputing the old myth that while NASA poured millions into space pen development, the Russians simply used a pencil:
bq. Apparently, pencils were once used by both sides in the Space Race, but they were reasoned a hazard based on the catastrophic possibilities of tiny broken leads whizzing around in zero gravity. So, as soon as the Space Pen became available and was tested for suitability, it seems the U.S. (as well as, evidently, the Russians) abandoned pencils for good from 1968 on.
Turns out the Fisher Pen Company developed the Space Pen without NASA money and simply used the organization as an effective marketing angle.
“Read the rest of the story”:http://www.43folders.com/2006/05/08/space-pen-myth/.