On 12 April, 1961 Yuri Gagarin shot off to space to become the first human to fly to space opening numerous pathways and possibilities for space exploration.
To remember the first human spaceflight, the United Nations General Assembly declared the same day 12 April as the International Day of Human Space Fight. The day recognizes cosmic science and technology as crucial contributors to achieve the objectives of sustainable development and improve the welfare of the people. The day also promotes further space exploration but for peaceful purposes, wherein every country and the people benefit from the discoveries made. And yes, we have learned so much about space since the first man shot off to space. Neil Armstrong has stepped on moon and Curiosity has been sending us pictures from Mars, an Earth look-alike planet has been spotted, and so much more has been possible because of one man taking the flight to space.
While it is all good and positive, on this special day let’s also take a minute to recognize a space tool without which space exploring could not have been as easy as it has been. Of course, there are technologies worth millions of dollars on board that have eased the entire process, but a small technology of utter importance has to be the space pens and among them, the Fisher Space pen holds the prestigious position of being the pioneer in space writing tools. Ever since the Apollo 7 mission in 1968, the Fisher Pen has been the standard writing instruments for astronauts in their space missions.
As the story goes, NASA was looking for pens that wouldn’t burn in a 100 percent-oxygen environment. When big pen companies couldn’t find a solution, news came to them that a guy named Paul Fisher could be the answer to their prayer. According to Paul Fisher’s son Cary Fisher, Paul’s reply to the call from NASA was, “Where the heck you guys been? I’ve been trying to get a hold of you for a year!” He had already been working on developing a pen suitable for space, which could write whenever, wherever, however. It took Paul a few years, a whole lot of experiments, tests and failures, to find the ultimate winner – a pressurized pen that didn’t leak and didn’t rely on gravity to push the ink to the ball. While NASA has already moved on to different writing tools for space exploration today, it is worthwhile to acknowledge the importance of Fisher Space Pens. Like without Gagarin going to space, space exploration might not have been as advanced as today, without Fisher Space Pens, astronauts might as well have been stuck with facing dangers of a pencil lead breakage.
Just as April 12 is a reminder of possibilities and knowledge, Fisher Space Pens is a reminder of being different than the usual and winning at doing that. So be different. Different is good.