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Another live and learn (2) Great moments in Science, NASA's space pen, tomato sauce and thixotropy

So tomato sauce is thixotropic, and lead pencils are dangerous in space. Topic for todays lesson with my Japanese neurosurgeon/Alzheimer's specialist. Come to think of it, I may be in need soon!



Perhaps this won't play where you are.

This is Dr Karl's radio program, Great moments in Science. Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, I think I may have mentioned him before, a source of interesting and entertaining erudition.

Thixotropy is a time-dependent shear thinning property, and provides a solution for space pens. Airborne lead shavings are conductive and could result in an explosion, such as in Apollo 1 1967. Fisher Pen company invented the AG-7 pen, which both NASA and the Russians used in space, but NASA strangely refused to endorse it. Also strange is that they allowed the Russians to use the Fisher Space-pen technology, USA rarely being so generous with countries such as Russia or Cuba

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