day 123

IMG_1773

The pen is mightier than the sword? The sword in the stone?

I was thinking a lot this morning about actions that are right and wrong. Pursuing doing a task or everything to the best of our ability;,the right way, instead of just barely getting the job done; the wrong way.

Growing up and even now I love the NASA space program. The Gemini, Mercury, and Apollo space missions hold a special place in my heart. Americans went to explore and had no idea what they would find.

This pen is the infamous space pen. If you know much about it it’s gotten a lot of bad press, and is the tip of the iceberg for needless spending and development- waste and the wrong way of doing things. “We spent this much money on a pen when the Russians just used a pencil.”

I did some digging a while back about this argument. First, the US government didn’t spend any money on these pens, for their development or use. The Fisher pen company spent millions of their own money on development and gave them to NASA for free. That’s why we can buy them as civilians today; and honestly they are the best writing pens I’ve ever owned. But why a pen? Well every component of a pencil, especially when you break a tip and sharpen it, with all of those little shavings, is flammable. The worst thing that could happen in a concentrated oxygen environment that’s pressurized against the vacuum of space is a fire. If those little pieces of a pencil were to find their way to any electronic panel, which I assume space vehicles have a lot of, a spark and fire would be the sure outcome.

There’s always two sides to every story and it’s usually not what you think. Most of the time there is a side, maybe both sides, that truly pursues excellence and the best possible course to their knowledge.

Chris and Laura

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