How does a pen work in space?

We may not give it much thought, but have you ever wondered how a pen works in space? 

The pens that we have been using everyday use gravity assist to pull the ink down.  So, if only we write on a horizontal surface, will the ink flow nicely.  If not, for example, writing vertically against a wall, you will find that after a few words the ink just won’t flow anymore.

There are other problems as well.  In the vacuum of space, the ink would evaporate and dry out.  Too cold, it’ll get too thick to flow.  Too hot, it’ll get dry out.  So, ordinary pens can’t be used in space.

So how?

Head over to Astroprof for a very interesting and informative story on “space pen”.

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~ by thChieh on April 2, 2008.

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