In the early years of space flight, both Russians and Americans used pencils in space. Unfortunately, pencil lead is made of graphite, a highly conductive material. Snapped graphite leads and particles in zero gravity are hugely problematic, as they will get sucked into the air ventilation or electronic equipment, easily causing shorts or fires in the pure oxygen environment of a capsule.
After the fire in Apollo 1 which killed all the astronauts on board, NASA required a writing instrument that wasn’t a fire hazard. Fisher spent over a million dollars (of his own money) creating a pressurized ball point pen, which NASA bought at $2.95 each. The Russian space program also switched over from pencils shortly after.
40 years later snide morons on the internet still snigger about it, because snide morons on the internet never know what they are talking about.
Valentina Tereshkova - one spacey bitch. A proletariat that worked in a textile factory and parachuted for funsies, this lady was one of the five chosen by the Soviet space program. She joined up with the USSR Air Force and then became a cosmonaut in the 1960s. In 1963, the Soviets decided to send her to space on the Vostok 6. This bitch put the American space program to shame, logging more space hours than any American astronaut had at that time having spent three days (48 orbits) out of the atmosphere. At 26 she became the first and only fucking lady in space for nineteen years. Still alive and kickin’ at 74 in Russia, this bitch has won pretty much all of the honors and has been elected to a bunch of committees.
The World’s first Cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin relaxes at the billiard table on April 13, 1961, the day after his historic space flight on board Vostock 1.
My theory remains that the space race (much like Homeland Security) is a bogus fear-instilling veil pulled over our eyes to distract us from the truly fucked up shit ON Earth we should be paying attention to. Which sucks. I want to go into space.
The Earth and the Moon. Taken 6 million miles away by the Juno spacecraft which is on its way to Jupiter.