LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Specialized pens are made by the thousand at Fisher Space Pen in Boulder City.
The company is aptly named as they've been an integral part of space exploration around the world for more than half of a century dating back to the Apollo 7 space mission in 1968.
The historic and now delayed launch of a Space X rocket carrying two NASA astronauts reignited interest in the Southern Nevada company because they make the world's only ballpoint pen to work in zero gravity.
Current Quality Control Supervisor Paul Fisher's grandfather, also named Paul FIsher, invented the pen that can write while frozen, upside down, under water, or in space.
"Our grandfather was one of the original pioneers of the ballpoint pen," he said standing in the shop his grandfather built and turned into a family business.
National Sales Manager Joshua Skidmore said the pens were necessary because normal ballpoint pens wouldn't work, and graphite from pencil led would break off, float around the ship, and potentially cause electronics to malfunction.
"The led gets into the electronic boards which could be a disaster."
Skidmore said the Space Pens have been on every U.S. space flight since 1968, they've been used by Russian and Chinese space operations, and there are currently 51 on the International Space Station waiting for the latest round of U.S. astronauts when they're allowed to fly.
"As a human race, we're intrigued about space so it's exciting when we're getting back into a shuttle," he said.
Space is far from the company's only frontier.
Their latest hot seller has been pure brass pens with anti-microbial properties because of the coronavirus.
Fisher said many of the company's employees have been working there for between 20 and 60 years, and they're considering expanding manufacturing in Nevada.