Fisher sent the first samples to Dr. Robert Gilruth, Director of the Houston Space Center. The pens were all metal except for the ink, which had a flash point above 200°C. The sample Space Pens were thoroughly tested by NASA. They passed all the tests and have been used ever since on all manned space flights, American and Russian. All research and development costs were paid by Paul Fisher. No development costs have ever been charged to the government. Because of the fire in Apollo 1, in which three Astronauts died, NASA required a writing instrument that would not burn in a 100% oxygen atmosphere. It also had to work in the extreme conditions of outer space:
Centuries of experience in the arms trade have matured into a standard procedure for farming the public treasures through arms sales. As the riches and most powerful country in the world, it is only logical that the United States is where the most money is to be earned procuring and selling arms. With each seasonal arms authorization and appropriation voted on in Congress, there are the predictably cadenced warnings of … dangerous gaps.… It was the recognition of this political control of public (and official) perception that led President Eisenhower to issue his stern warning to the American people in his farewell address: In the councils of government we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military/industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.