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Myths about NASA

NASA's Incredibly Expensive Space Pen

In the 1960s, NASA needed to develop a pen for astronauts which could write in zero gravity. The Astronaut Pen cost $1.5 million. On the other hand, Russia used a pencil when faced with the same dilemma. 

The Real Story: NASA did use pencils; however, pencils produce waste which float in zero gravity and are flammable. The Fisher Pen company invested $1 million to create the space pen. No investment was made by NASA. Only after the pen came into existence and was tested, NASA ordered 400 pens. After a year, Russia too shifted to using pens in space.


The Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) is part of NASA

The Real Story: The SETI Institute is a private, non-profit organisation with three research centres. It is not part of NASA.


NASA’s Research is Only Used in Space

The Real Story: NASA is indeed extensively involved in space explorations; however, there are NASA creations which are beneficial for society too. Apart from space explorations, NASA has heavily contributed in terms of advancement in technology.


NASA Uses a Great Percentage of Government Spending

The Real Story: NASA’s budget has never risen above 1% of government spending since 1993. It was only in 1966 that the budget rose to 4.4%.


NASA is Part of the US Defense Department

The Real Story: NASA is a civilian agency working towards space exploration. Although NASA works closely with the US Defense Department, it is an independent agency. 


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