Do you know, why is a pen or pencil not used in space? Many have seen the movie Three Idiots. At the very beginning of the movie, actor Boman Irani, who plays a teacher named Virus, shows a pen to all the students. Which was basically an astronaut pen. Basically, ballpoint pens cannot be used in space, so astronaut pens are used there. Then actor Aamir Khan asked the virus, then why can’t pencil be used?
First, why can’t a pen be used in space? For those who understand gravity, the answer is not too complicated. When we keep the lip of the pen down and the back of the pen up, the upper inks tend to push down or fall due to gravity. When writing with a pen, when the ball on the lip rotates, the ink pressed on the ball repeatedly sticks. As a result, the ink sticks to the page of the ledger and the writing is visible. Similarly, if we keep a pen upside down (back side up and lip down), then after some time the ink of the pen will come out from the backside. Many of us have done this carelessly. Many people’s clothes have been ruined by that ink. However, a solution to this problem has been made at present. After the pen is filled with ink, the hole at the back is closed with an adhesive substance so that even if the pen is put upside down in a pocket, the ink cannot come out. You see, the main mechanism here is the ink being pushed down by gravity. If the ink was not pressed down, the ink would not stick and writing would not be possible.
Now, since there is no gravity in space, the ink will not stick in a certain direction. So there is no need for continuous ink. And so it is not possible to write there. So we can’t use a pen in space.
Since a pen cannot be used, then we can use a pencil. Because the pencil does not need gravity. As though in the movie, Aamir Khan asked the question about the virus. In fact, even a pencil cannot be used in space. Although in the early days of space travel, Russia and America used pencils in space. But unfortunately, pencil nibs are made of graphite. Which is a very good conductor of heat and electricity. Fragments of a broken pencil nib in zero-gravity space can cause much bigger problems. For example, they can get into different electrical equipment and cause short circuits. A fire can occur in an atmosphere containing pure oxygen within the capsule.
After an explosion in the Apollo 1 cabin caused all the astronauts to burn to death, NASA was looking for writing material that wouldn’t pose a fire risk. Then Paul C. Fisher’s pen-making company Fisher Space Pen Company budgeted millions of dollars to make this pen. Then NASA bought each pen for just 2.95 cents. Within a few days, the Russians also started using this special pen instead of the pencil. Which will work from below zero to 300 degrees centigrade temperature.