The Fisher Space Pen company has released a limited-edition pen to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon. Fisher pens were used aboard every crewed Apollo mission and continue to be used by both NASA and Roscosmos.
The commemorative Apollo 11 AG-7 Fisher pen is constructed out of black titanium nitride plated brass and features diamond-cut engravings plated in 24 karat gold. The showpiece, however, is the “Katon” foil sealed inside an acrylic dome on the pen’s cap. The foil is insulation material that flew aboard the Apollo 11 Command Module, Columbia.
Fisher has limited the production of the commemorative AG-7 pen to just 500. In addition to the pen, the $700 price tag also gets you a commemorative coin and a sturdy display case with a plaque reading, “ Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle had landed.”
The Fisher Space Pen
Paul Fisher founded the Fisher Pen Company in 1948 and gained notoriety by inventing the universal refill cartridge in 1953. In 1966, Fisher developed the sealed and pressurised Fisher Space Pen®. That same year, the company offered its pens to NASA and after rigorous testing, the Fisher Space Pen® was included aboard the first mission of the Apollo program, Apollo 7.
Despite the company investing more than $1 million into the development of the Space Pen, it sold 400 units to NASA in 1967 for just $6 each. This was a relative bargain compared to the $128 per unit Tycam Engineering Manufacturing had quoted the agency for their mechanical pencils. In 1969, the Soviet Union chose the pens for their own crewed space program purchasing 100 pens and 1,000 ink cartridges.
Fisher Space Pens are still used by both NASA and Roscomos to this day.