During the heat of the space race in the 1960s, the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration decided it needed a ballpoint 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 approximately $1 million. 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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