There’s a problem with my Space Pen.

One of the great things about my Space Pen, in addition to being able to write in zero gravity, up-side down and on almost any surface, is that it’s very small and can be carried in my pocket. The pen itself is about 9cm long, but it has a cap that is about three quarters the length of the pen, so when you place the cap on the top of the pan the whole thing is a pleasant size to write with.

Under normal circumstances this is a very good thing, but yesterday something went wrong.

The cap has been pushed too tightly onto the pen and now I can’t remove it.

I’ve tried everything up to and including wrenching it apart with a pair of pliers and leaving it in boiling water in the hope that the cap might expand and loosen. As yet all I have achieved is some nasty tool marks on the pen.

If anyone has any suggestions about how to remove the cap from my Space Pen I’d love to hear them in the comments. In the mean time I’ve been reduced to using a non NASA approved pen for all of my writing needs and I’m not happy with the experience.

38 thoughts on “There’s a problem with my Space Pen.

  1. A photo of the pen (with a wench female holding it, or nearby) might help to draw more comments & suggestions, Dave. It worked on the Hyundai.

  2. Call NASA now! This is serious… what if this happens to an astronaut in outer space? They could be receiving an extra-terrestrial communication – “quick, get my SpacePen, I need to get this down… oh shit – the caps stuck!” First contact could be lost forever.

  3. On a more helpful note, and in light of having known you for a few years now, have you tried unscrewing the cap?

  4. It’s not a screw cap, that would detract from the simple yet elegant design. Of course the gouges from my pliers also detract from the simple yet elegant design.

  5. Other tips (because I know how important shiny things are to you):
    1. Don’t boil your pen: firstly, heating up the ink will cause it to reduce its viscosity and may cause a leak; and secondly if the cap and the part of the pen that it connects to are made from the same material, they will expand at the same rate. Boiling normally only works for two different materials or when a reduction in air pressure has caused a vacuum.
    2. Run the joint under hot, soapy water for a while and see if that dislodges any grime such as leaked ink that is acting as a seal.
    3. Get some silicon spray – bloody marvellous stuff.
    4. Throw it away and use the loss as an excuse to buy a new shiny toy.

  6. Geez, Dave, I don’t know how to tell you this, but last Saturday @ Milawa, you did leave it out of your sight and I saw Ray fiddling with it. SABOTAGE!

  7. OK I confess then. I’ve got the original space pen. Dave’s got the fake one I handed back to him. It’s working fine, Dave. No problems with the cap either.

    My punishment? I’ll leave that up to Dave Bron to decide. Go easy. No, go hard.

    See, I knew I could turn this post into smut, even without a photo.

  8. You THINK I’m a HER, Ray. Are you SURE?!

    Yeah, yeah, seriously though. Um. What’s the topic?

    Oh yeah. I think I pulled a muscle in my arm when grating the cheese tonight (I’m precious). No can do with the crack o’ the whip, Ray. But can do when you least expect it.

    But while you’re waiting, how does a chastity belt for you sound? You know the ones…

  9. That reminds of a great bit ot dialogue in The West Wing

    “Nasa spent 12 million developing a pen that could write in space. Know what the Russians used?”

    “A Pencil?”

    “Go figure”.

  10. Never mind, Ray. I don’t know myself. Was just babbling at that point (boredom due to being stuck at home with a cold).

  11. It’s OK Bron, it gave me an excuse to watch the Footy Show. It was crap though.

    (Trust Wah to put this back on topic – party pooper)

  12. Yes, AFL. I dunno what happened either, there was no ‘Street Talk’. Maybe I nodded off? It’s a problem when it’s minus 5 outside and 25 inside. It sends you to sleep for some reason.

  13. Dave, are you like everyone else around here and ignored the user manual that should have come in the box? Yeah, yeah, I know, if all else fails, read the manual. But you’re in IT, so you should know better than that.

    Could it be to do with the internal ROM? Like when the ink supply depletes, it triggers an internal mechanism that fuses the cap to the body?

    Might need a firmware upgrade. Ring the help desk, see what they say.

    If you have inadvertantly misplaced or lost your manual, try and get a hold of copy of “Space Pens for Dummies”

    And Ray, hello, are you still awake, waiting? Now that I have this back on topic, kindly leave it there or we’ll all chip in for Bron to deal you out, you Bright smut.

  14. I’d hold the pen in the 3 jaw chuck of my lathe, then bring up the tailstock with the drill chuck in it and grasp the cap firmly with that. I’m sure I could twist them apart.

    What do you mean you don’t have a lathe?

  15. lemmiwinks: sadly I am like most modern males, my tool box contains little more than an assortment of allan keys that came with various pieces of flat pack furniture.

    I like the new avatar BTW.

  16. Dave, post the pen to me and I’ll have the cap off in less time than you spent standing in line at the post office. I assume you can see my email address since I had to provide it to comment so ping me and I’ll give you my street address.

    Thanks! Somewhere, for some reason I ended up signing up for that gravatar thing that you mentioned a while back but I ignored at the time because it was more effort that I could be arsed with. I was aimlessly surfing a while back and came across that on a t-shirt (would have bought one too but their stupid online shop didn’t work). It made me laugh and in light of recent events it’s just so appropriate.

  17. Hello. I found this post searching google for words such as space pen stuck 🙂 I have the same problem. I love my pen and I hate that this is happening. If you figured out how to get it unstuck, do you mind sharing?

    Thanks.

    J

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