posted on Feb, 5 2004 @ 12:48 PM
As funny as this is... it is not true.
Any quick search of the web will turn this up on a number of hoax web sites. (sorry to spoil the fun)
The government did not fund the development of the pen, it did not cost $12 billion to perfect, and neither the Americans nor the Russians consider it
desirable to use pencils in space. In fact, both Americans and Russians use the space pen for their flights.
The famous space pen, which is still a popular product today, was developed by Paul Fisher the founder of the Fisher pen company. An engineer who
improved ball point technology, he created his "bullet pen" in the 1940's, which became one of the best-selling pens of the Twentieth Century.
Later, he perfected a pen that was sealed with pressure inside of the cartridge that made the ink to flow regardless of gravity. It also worked in
high and low temperature extremes, underwater, and wrote on many kinds of surfaces.
According to the Fisher Pen company, after extensive testing, NASA chose the pen in 1967 for use by Apollo astronauts and it's been a part of space
travel ever since. The company says it took Fisher about 2 years and $2 million to develop the space pen.
Prior to 1967, there were no pens that worked in space so there were pencils used, but there were concerns about pencil dust floating around the space
capsules as well as fears that if the tip of a pencil broke off and drifted into the electronics, there would be problems.