many astronauts, cosmonauts and taikonauts have hauled their own Space Pens onto orbit

Apollo 12 Pacific RecoveryApollo 12 Pacific Recovery by NASA Goddard Photo and Video (cc by)

In a thread about the wonderful "writes upside down" spacepen, member eriko explains why pencils in space can be quite deadly and unsafe:

Realize that a piece of graphite between two conductors with enough current behind them becomes a light bulb. Briefly. This isn't good in sea level atmosphere, in a pure oxygen atmosphere, this is deadly. Gemini used mechanical pencils, which got rid of the wood, but left the graphite, and graphite+oxygen+spark=fire. Bad.

01/18/13
by mathowie

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