Reasons Why Pencils Were Not Used By NASA

School and Education - General
By: goodselfme    
16-Jul-2016

Introduction:

  • 01

    Pencil Lead

    NASA did not use and does not use pencils in space are solid reason whey they spent time developing a pen that is used instead. The pencil lead could break and then end up lodging in any of the instruments that fly around the space ship while on the mission. Mechanical pencils could not be used simply because of the plastic those are made of would break before even entering space travel. Look at your favorite pencil and imagine that this utensil is the one that was not used in space travel regarding the lead in the pencil you have in front of you.

  • 02

    Sharpen Pencils

    When pencil lead breaks, the lead needs to be sharpened. NASA determined not to make a pencil need to be sharpened, set out to find a pen that astronauts use for writing in space. The fact that a sharpener would be needed is extra weight and more equipment in a very limited area in the rocket for the astronauts. When anyone used a pencil in the past they will tell you how often they needed to sharpen their pencil. Pencils, if used in space would be a continually needing to be sharpened. Much investigation and concentration were spent before deciding against using pencils in apace.

  • 03

    Pencil Wood

    The character of a pencil is primarily wood. The lead is completely surrounded by either slats or pieces of wood. Wood shrinks in below zero temperatures in space. This fact proves the pencil not to be a good choice for astronauts in space. Both the wood and the lead would be very brittle in space. Many scientists and aerospace engineers looked into several kinds of wood to change that component in pencils to use in space. Unfortunately no kinds of wood were able to return a positive result. After considering many kinds of wood, pencils were decided not to be used by NASA.

  • 04

    Erasers on Pencils

    The eraser on a pencil was determined not to be a good item for astronauts to use in space. When the freezing temperatures were acquired in space, the rubber eraser would affect the eraser and it could not be used effectively. This meant that if the pencil were considered a new type of eraser would need to be developed too. So many contents in several different kinds of erasers were investigated to be able to use in space by the astronauts. Since the determination had many other focuses about the failure of the pencil used in space, the eraser was only one.

  • 05

    Writing Surfaces

    Paper is a writing surface that NASA experimented with for astronauts in space before they launched. Using pencils and erasers would demand a very special kind of paper. Paper that did not rip, would not freeze and would not get wet during space travels. Paper was a real issue to be solved for space use. Imagine all the investigations that were needed to come to the fact that no pencil would be used in space. Then take into consideration the writing surface being investigated as well. All the time and energy spent to evaluate paper was successful and gave the astronauts good surfaces.







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