What is a Space Pen?


via Wikimedia Commons

Space pen made by Paul C. Fisher

The Fisher Pen Company was founded in 1948 by a retired astronaut, Paul C. Fisher. The fisher space pen, also known as the zero gravity pen, is a special pen that allows people to write in outer space, underwater, and in extreme temperatures. The Fisher Space Pen has a lot of uses in many occupations, but its history was truly fascinating.

Before the space pen was invented, most astronauts used mechanical and #2 pencils, but there was a problem. Most mechanical pencils cost too much to buy and use for the companies, and #2 pencils were just inconvenient due to the constant need to sharpen them. Because of this, Nasa looked for a better solution that was more affordable and effective. After 10 years, a man named Paul C. Fisher created the first space pen after 10 years of research and worked to create it.

Though NASA was a little hesitant in buying these space pens because of their somewhat expensive price, it ended up paying off. The pens worked perfectly, and the Soviet Union even bought some of the pens for their own expeditions in outer space. Today, the Fisher Space Pen continues to create more of these pens in several different models, and are in many office supply stores today.

The Fisher Space Pen’s abilities are truly amazing. This pen is able to write from below freezing temperatures around -50 degrees Fahrenheit to more than 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Furthermore, its ability to write underwater also gives this pen more convenience to divers and swimmers who need them to write underwater.

This pen is also very affordable, which ables NASA to fund their money into more important parts of expeditions such as new ships and components. So how exactly was Fisher able to pull this off? It was simple: Fisher uses a pressurized ink cartridge to push the ink towards the tip. A gas in the empty, no-ink area expands as more ink is used. This allows the pen to be used in any place-even upside down and in space!

After its first expedition on Apollo 7, the Fisher Space Pens continues to help astronauts today. Paul C. Fisher received 14 awards for his brilliant thinking in creating the pen. It may not seem like much, but it definitely made a big impact. This pen is definitely a unique and affordable resource that has gone long ways to this very day.