– They became iconic by boosting some of NASA's most historic missions and now the rockets that launched the first astronauts into space and propelled humans to the moon can help launch their next letter, school assignment or office memo.
Retro 51, maker of the Tornado line of collectible rollerball pens, has announced its Space Racing Series, a trio of writing instruments designed from NASA's first astronaut launch vehicles. The pens, issued in collaboration with the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, celebrate the 50th anniversary of the next lunar landing next year.
"The Space Race series puts miniature tributes in the hand of three iconic rockets that helped put the first humans on the moon," writes Retro 51. "Each pen is made of solid stainless steel and is silk-screened with graphics that They evoke the original rockets. "
The pens are inspired by the historic historical drivers Mercury-Redstone, Gemini-Titan II and Saturn V.
Alan Shepard, the first astronaut in the United States to reach space, rode on a Mercury-Redstone rocket on May 5, 1961. Three weeks later, President John F. Kennedy addressed a joint session of Congress, declaring in Part: "I believe that this nation should commit to reaching the goal, before the end of this decade, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth."
To obtain the skills needed to achieve Kennedy's goal, NASA launched the Gemini program. Ten crews of two astronauts each raised Gemini-Titan II rockets to practice and find encounters, dock and spacewalks ("extravehicular activities"), as well as demonstrate that humans can live and work in space for up to two weeks both. .
The Apollo-Saturn V rocket, which remains today the most powerful launch vehicle, was launched with 10 crews of three people each, including the 24 astronauts who traveled to the Moon and among them, the 12 who landed on the Moon . Surface, between 1968 and 1972.
On July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins launched on a Saturn V on the first historic mission that landed humans (Armstrong and Aldrin) on the Moon.
Each ballpoint pen in the Space Race series is individually numbered and limited to a total of 1958, a nod to the 60th anniversary of the founding of NASA.
The pens are packaged separately in commemorative gift tubes. Mercury and Gemini pens cost $ 50 each. The Apollo pen is priced at $ 60.
Ballpoint pens are also offered as a boxed game with corresponding serial numbers for $ 170.
Retro 51 will donate a portion of the profits from each pen to the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF). Over the last three decades, the Foundation has awarded more than $ 4.5 million to more than 500 US university students. UU They excel in science, technology, mathematics and engineering.
The pens of the Space Race series with the lowest serial numbers were combined with the autograph of an Apollo astronaut and sold exclusively by the ASF as part of its fundraising campaign "On the shoulders of giants". Astronauts Charlie Duke (Apollo 16), Jim Lovell (Gemini 7, Gemini 12, Apollo 8, Apollo 13) and Al Worden (Apollo 15) have each signed an impression chosen to complement the accompanying pens.
"Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 mission. Retro 51 is proud to partner with the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation to honor and support the brave men and women who made this achievement possible and who continue to reach the stars." . said the company.
In September, Retro 51 began its association with ASF by producing an exclusive pen for the "On the shoulders of giants" campaign. Previously, Retro 51 offered three limited edition pens related to space, including one thematic for the Apollo Project and a "Mission to Mars" model inspired by NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.
The first pen of Retro 51 to celebrate the history of space, inspired by Saturn V "Lift Off", was chosen as its most popular pen to date.