The Fisher Space Pen – Very Cool
Outside of cool electronic devices and apps, there are a few really popular cool things out there worth sharing. You know, the slinky, the swiss army knife, moleskine notebooks, and…wait for it….The Fisher Space Pen.
Boulder City, Nevada is home to the Fisher Space Pen. Invented in 1965 by Paul Fisher, the pen comes in several configurations including the traditional ball point pen and my favorite, the bullet pen. The bullet pen is a smallish sleek looking (hence bullet) pen that looks much smaller than normal. However, when you separate the cap and put it on the top, the pen is normal sized.
The secret sauce inside is a pressurized ink cartridge that can write in zero gravity, on greasy paper, underwater, at any angle, and of course in space.
There are some interesting stories that NASA spent millions developing a pen to write in zero gravity, while the Soviets simply used a pencil. The truth is that NASA did unsuccessfully try to invent a zero gravity pen, but gave up. They didn't spend millions. On the other hand, Paul Fisher spent a considerable amount developing a pen that DID work in space and it was adopted by NASA and eventually even the Russians.
While I'm not so worried about being able to write in space, I do find the Fisher Pen quite remarkable. The pressurized cartridge is evidently packed with enough ink to write for an average person's lifetime. The company says precisely 30.7miles. Of course, I'll never find out because I got a late start.
The bullet pen comes with a slide on clip for a shirt pocket. I guarantee that you'll lose it. In fact, I've lost every one that I've owned. The bullet pen is very small when put together, and rolls away quickly on a flat surface. Just a heads up!
I'm trying to go paperless and do nearly all my writing on a tablet or smart phone (OK, iPad and iPhone!). While I love the Fisher Space Pen and the Moleskine notebook, I've learned to live without them. I'll write a future blog on adventures in a paperless world.