There's a fun anecdote that runs around the internet from time to time: NASA spent millions of dollars developing an 'astronaut pen' that would work in outer space, while the Soviets fixed the problem much more cheaply and quickly by using pencils.
While cute, it's actually very wrong.
Both the US and Soviet space programs used pencils to begin with. But pencils have a tendency to flake and create graphite dust that would float around in zero gravity. Imagine getting pencil dust in your eyes with no easy way to wash it out! Or behind sensitive electronics with no gravity holding it down shorting out circuits. Yikes! Pencils in space are a bad idea!
Enter Paul C. Fisher of the Fisher Pen Company. Paul saw that we had an issue of using pencils in space and set out to fix it. Using over a million dollars of his own money he designed a pen that could be used in a vacuum, with no gravity and in extremely hot or cold temperatures. In July 1965 the pressurized ball point pen was born. Samples were sent to the Houston Space Center, where they were thoroughly tested and approved for use in Space in September 1965.
In December, 1967 Paul Fisher sold 400 AG-7 Space Pens to NASA at a cost of $2.95 each or $1,180 total a far cry from the millions in the anecdote.
The Fisher AG-7 Space Pen was used in the Apollo and Shuttle programs. It is still used on the Space Station today. The version sold on the TMRO store is a full legit AG-7 Space Pen laser etched with the TMRO logo. It is fully capable of writing in space, ready for when you're *finally* able to buy that space tourist ticket!
This is the blue and black mug that we use on the TMRO:Space live shows....