– They have become iconic, fueling some of NASA's most historic missions and now the rockets that put the first astronauts in space and propelled humans to the moon can help launch their next letter, homework or memo from the office.
Retro 51, a manufacturer of the Tornado-line rollerball pen line, has announced its Space Race series, a trio of writing instruments that are stylized after NASA's first astronaut launch vehicles. The pens, issued in partnership with the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first landing on the Moon next year.
"The Space Run series puts in the hand of the writer miniature honors to three iconic rockets that have helped put the first humans on the Moon," writes Retro 51. "Each pen is made of solid stainless steel and is silkscreened with evocative graphics the original rockets. "
The pens are modeled according to the Mercury-Redstone, Gemini-Titan II and Saturn V historical boosters.
Alan Shepard, the first astronaut in the United States to reach space, mounted a Mercury-Redstone rocket on May 5, 1961. Three weeks later, President John F. Kennedy addressed a joint session of Congress, stating in part: We believe that this nation must undertake to achieve the goal, before the expiration of this decade, of landing a man on the Moon and returning it safely to Earth. "
To get the skills needed to achieve Kennedy's goal, NASA launched the Gemini program. Ten crews of two astronauts took off on Gemini-Titan II rockets to practice and refine their encounter, berth and space walk ("extra-vehicular activities"), and demonstrate that humans can live and work in space for up to two weeks.
The Apollo-Saturn V rocket, which until today is the most powerful launch vehicle, took off with 10 crews of three people each, including all 24 astronauts who traveled to the Moon and among them the 12 who landed on the Moon. , between 1968 and 1972.
On July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins threw themselves on top of a Saturn V on the historic first mission that landed humans (Armstrong and Aldrin) on the Moon.
Each pen of the Space Race series is individually numbered and limited to a total of 1958, a tribute to the 60th anniversary of NASA's founding.
The pens come packaged separately in tubes of commemorative gifts. The Mercury and Gemini pens are sold for $ 50 each. The Apollo pen costs $ 60.
The pens are also offered as a set of boxes with matching serial numbers for $ 170.
Retro 51 will donate a portion of the profits from each pen to the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF). Over the past three decades, the Foundation has awarded more than $ 4.5 million to over 500 US college students with excellence in science, technology, math, and engineering.
The Space Race series pens with the lowest serial numbers were paired with an Apollo astronaut autograph and are being sold exclusively by ASF as part of their "Giants shoulder" fundraising campaign. Astronauts Charlie Duke (Apollo 16), Jim Lovell (Gemini 7, Gemini 12, Apollo 8, Apollo 13) and Al Worden (Apollo 15) signed an engraving chosen to compliment the accompanying pens.
"The next year marks the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 mission. Retro 51 is proud to have partnered with the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation to honor and support the brave men and women who have made such a conquest possible and who continue to reach the stars" . the company said.
In September, Retro 51 began its partnership with ASF, producing an exclusive pen for the "On the Shoulders of Giants" campaign. Retro 51 previously offered three space-limited limited edition pens, including a theme for the Apollo Project and a Mission to Mars model inspired by NASA's Space Shuttle Launch System (SLS) rocket.
The first Retro 51 pen to celebrate space history, inspired by Saturn V – "Lift Off", was voted the most popular pen ever.