During the heat of the space race in the 1960's, the U.S.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration decided it needed a ballpoint pen to write in the zero gravity confines of its space capsules.
After considerable research and development, the Astronaut Pen was developed at a cost of about $1 million U.S.
The pen worked and also enjoyed some modest success as a novelty item back here on Earth.
The Soviet Union, faced with the same problem, used a pencil.