A couple of things I’d like to point out about the Space Pen

So it’s tax season, and the old urban legend of “we spent $X on a space pen, and Russia used a pencil” story is making the rounds as an example of wasteful government spending. I’d like to point out a couple of things that we should all keep in mind :

(1) The story is false. While the program was started by NASA, the project was abandoned as too expensive. The actual Space Pen  was developed using private capital, by Paul C. Fisher. See Here and Here.

(2) It’s a FREAKING SPACE PEN. This is a technological achievement! This is American Engineering at its FINEST, and something to be proud of.

(3) What kind of havoc does pencil shavings have on an air-filtration system and zero g? Can’t have a pencil without a sharpener, and those things are messy. Unless you like floating in a haze of graphite dust.

(4) Are you honestly saying the Soviet Russia was better than America in the 60’s & 70’s? Oh, wait…

(5) This was over 40 years ago. You sound like a spouse/significant other who keeps bringing up the time you did that thing – you know the one – a long time ago and even though they said all was forgiven, they bring it up every time you have an argument, even though it has no bearing on the point they are trying to make.

If you want to have a serious talk about wasteful spending, let’s talk about black budgets, two wars, oil company subsidies, bank bailouts, and equally relevant budget items. Let’s not talk about an urban legend that is both false and therefore has no bearing on the argument at hand. Frankly, I’d rather spend the money on TEN SPACE PENS than paying oil companies to be profitable.

I mean, come on people, IT IS A  FREAKING SPACE PEN, developed and marketed by a private company in the US, and used by both NASA and the Russian Space Program now. Sounds like a win to me.

About Kevin Sonney

Kevin Sonney - who, contrary to popular opinion was NOT raised by wolves - grew up in central North Carolina. He fell into the technology field by accident in 1991, when he gave up the wild and crazy lifestyle of an on-air AM radio DJ to become a mundane technical support monkey. The technology industry has never really recovered from this. Kevin has worked for such names as IBM, Red Hat, webslingerZ, and Lulu Technologies (we won't mention the ones that didn't survive the experience). He currently works as a Linux Administrator for Apptio. In his spare time he rescues stray animals and plays video games with his two sons. His wife, we're sad to say, helps him get past the really hard bits. Kevin is still not very mundane, he just got better at hiding it.
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2 Responses to A couple of things I’d like to point out about the Space Pen

  1. HurogGirl says:

    And remember, most of Diane Duane’s “So, You Want To Be A Wizard” wouldn’t exist without space pens, so suck it up, people!
    Seriously, young wizards in peril a quarter century before that hairy Potter bloke hit the scene, and Nita changed the UNIVERSE.

    The bank bailout is a far more costly and STUPID – not to mention REALLY TRULY HAPPENED – thing to get your knickers in a twist about. Or how about Gitmo?

  2. James K. Rivera says:

    Totally 100% agree!

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