American Ingenuity

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During the heat of the space race in the 1960's, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration decided it needed a ball point pen to write in the zero gravity confines of its space capsules. After considerable research and development, the Astronaut Pen was developed at a cost of about $1 million U.S. The pen worked and also enjoyed some modest success as a novelty item back here on Earth. The Soviet Union, faced with the same problem, used a pencil.

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