So I’m to make pens that “work in zero
gravity” – for our purposes, that means
pens which can write 'upside down'. Ellen is to produce
the inks. I'm dependent again on someone else, because
if she fails to produce a suitable ink, then I’m
stuffed too. What's more, this challenge is not as easy
as it first seems. A capillary action pen will work
okay, but a ball-point pen is another matter, and it
seems that the programme makers are expecting me to
produce both types. I decide to make a large version
of each type that I can scale down if I have time. As
the capillary pen is going to be the easier of the two
to produce, I start on that. It’s surprising how
difficult a challenge this is under Rough Science conditions.
It takes an age just to gather together the tools and
materials that you think might be useful. Then you’re
constantly revising your ideas in order to overcome
some small design problem that you hadn’t foreseen.
Nevertheless, by the end of the day, I’ve managed
to produce something that will do the trick –
a “pen” that works by capillary action.
It looks like, and more or less is, a large felt-tip
marker. It’ll do for now. Tomorrow I need to tackle
the more-demanding challenge of making a large ball-point