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Usually, military and government products end up being sold on the civilian market in one way or another. This never happened with the Apollo penlight. There were only roughly 2000 made, so they never hit numbers that would have allowed them to make a profit or to hit military surplus stores, and if you were an astronaut allowed to keep yours, chances are you’d made too sentimental a connection to sell it. For example, this flashlight is a big reason Apollo 13 didn’t end in the death of everyone aboard, so there had to be some hesitancy to part with the penlights. Now, however, the public finally has an opportunity to get one. This Kickstarter is attempting to fund a slightly updated version of the flashlight, this one with a better battery and a more reliable LED. The solid brass construction is still present, but has also received an upgrade in the form of waterproofing. Since the company reviving the flashlight is a diving lantern company, they allowed themselves that small improvement.

2021-05-05

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