PEN BOUTIQUE DEDICATES THIS PEN TO AN ICONIC SYMBOL OF INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, REMINDING US OF THE INCREDIBLE THINGS WE CAN DO WHEN WE WORK TOGETHER
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FOUNTAIN PEN, ROLLERBALL and Pencil 1.1mm
This matching set of rollerball, pencil and fountain pen come packaged in this sturdy box with snappy magnetic closure. Each writing instrument is engraved with a limited edition number with 175 total sets available. This spacecraft themed set looks back to July 1975 when the United States and Soviet Union teamed up to connect in space with the first crewed international space station. It was a “memorable handshake in space” and “a symbol of detente between the superpowers… to mark the end of the Space Race.” Choose from Extra Fine, Fine, Medium and 1.1 mm nib sizes. Link in the bio.
The Space Race, an era of fierce competition between American and Soviet space programs, was bookended by two events: the launch of Sputnik in 1957, and the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project in 1975. After almost 20 years of breakneck progress from both sides, which gave us the first man in space, the first spacewalk, the moon landings, and countless other achievements unimaginable a generation before, NASA and their Soviet counterpart the Soviet Academy of Sciences worked together on the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project to kick off a new age of international cooperation in space.
In 1970, the administrator of NASA sent a letter proposing a joint orbital rendezvous between spacecraft from the US and USSR, and the next five years were spent training astronauts and building equipment from both countries to deal with the challenges created by the significant cultural, engineering, and design philosophy differences between the two space programs. Perhaps most difficult to overcome from a technical standpoint was the incompatibility of the two craft's atmospheres. Prioritizing flame resistance, the Soyuz capsule had a mixed gas atmosphere similar to air at about sea level pressure, as there's a significantly reduced risk of fire inside the capsule compared to a pure oxygen environment. Conversely, the Apollo command module used pure oxygen at 1/5th atmospheric pressure, because it's just as easy to breathe as normal air, but puts less strain on the walls of the capsule and allows for widespread weight savings. Had the two countries not worked together to build the Androgenous Peripheral Attach System (APAS), a unique two-sided airlock that bridged the two spacecraft, the Soyuz side would likely have gone up in flames, and the Apollo side may have popped like a balloon. On the crew side, the 3 Americans and 2 Soviets who would go on the mission all learned Russian and English respectively, and spoke the native language of the other side for the duration of the rendezvous. While together in orbit, the two crews exchanged 5 flags from each country, addressed TV audiences from around the world, and enjoyed the company of their counterparts in an unprecedented display of unity between the two Cold War powers.
The Pen Boutique exclusive Apollo Soyuz Retro 51 commemorates this iconic moment in the history of space exploration in spectacular fashion. The sky blue upper section of the pen represents the Soyuz capsule, with its two distinctive blue bands. The bottom section's minimal markings, bare metal finish, and cross-shaped R-4D attitude control thrusters represent the exterior of the Apollo CSM, the same craft which carried the crew of Apollo 11 to and from the moon just 6 years prior. Bridging the two sections representing each spacecraft is a grey section representing the APAS, the most concrete example of the hurdles facing this mission and the inspiring efforts taken to overcome them.