On July 16th, 1969, the United States launched a three-man spacecraft toward the moon with the goal of landing 2 astronaut explorers on the lunar surface four days later. Commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin landed the Apollo 11 Lunar Module Eagle on July 20, 1969. This successful mission accomplished mankind’s dream of walking on another celestial body.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing in 2019, Montegrappa issued a special collection inspired by this mission. In a licensed collaboration with NASA, Montegrappa reproduced the iconic Saturn V rocket (which carried the Apollo 11 mission), interpreted as a writing instrument made in a three-dimensional effect of the rocket body’s First, Second and Third “stages”.
The Moon Landing collection consisted of 50 pens in solid 18k gold and titanium, and 473 pens in resin and sterling silver.
The year 2019 is remembered in the UAE, not only as the Year of Tolerance, but also as the year that the first Emirati astronaut ventured into space – a programme managed and executed by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC). On September 25, 2019 UAE Astronaut Hazzaa Al Mansoori was launched into the International Space Station making him the first Emirati in space, and the first Arab astronaut to visit the International Space Station (ISS).
Montegrappa marked this significant event in the history of the UAE by creating a one-of-a-kind fountain pen dedicated to MBRSC. The design of the pen is based on the Moonlanding Limited Edition inspired by the ‘Saturn V’ rocket design, however this unique piece features a UAE flag, the letters ‘UAE’ on the barrel, and the logo of MBRSC on the cap. The nib is adorned with a portrait of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, whose vision of the future of the UAE has made this possible.
This unique pen was carried to the ISS by Hazzaa Al Mansouri on his mission in 2019, and has since returned with him to Earth, and now resides in the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, where it serves as a reminder of this great moment in the history of the UAE space programme.
The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, founded in 2006, is home to the UAE National Space Programme. The Centre builds and operates earth observation satellites, offering imaging and data analysis services to clients around the world. The Centre launched DubaiSat-1, DubaiSat-2, an KhalifaSat on 29 October 2018 from Tanegashima Space Center in Japan. KhalifaSat was developed 100% in the UAE by a team of highly qualified Emirati engineers. The Centre is responsible for the development of the Emirates Mars Mission and the Mars Hope Probe, a mission that reached Mars orbit in 2021 and is gathering key science data about Mars’ atmosphere, as well as the UAE Astronaut Programme and the development of the Mars 2117 vision to build a human colony on Mars.
MBRSC aims towards creating new generations of Emirati experts, engineers and researchers to hold leadership roles in establishing a knowledge-based economy. MBRSC has worked on achieving the UAE National Innovation Strategy and looks forward to positioning the UAE amongst the most innovative countries in the world in the space sector. The centre has supported national plans to contribute to the progress of humanity and build a better world.
“The leadership of the visionary leaders of the UAE has helped Montegrappa thrive in this region and we have always shown our gratitude in the form of special editions of writing instruments themed around various elements of this country. In 2017 we launched the ‘Ishy Bilady’ collection celebrating the country’s National Anthem, and last year we launched the ‘Year of Zayed’ pen celebrating the founding father’s life, work and vision of prosperity, tolerance and peace. With this special pen made for MBRSC, we at Montegrappa celebrate the UAE’s first step into space and a leap into the future” said Giuseppe Aquila, Montegrappa’s CEO.
Speaking of this gesture from Montegrappa, Salem AL Marri, Director General at MBRSC said: “We are delighted to receive this special memento from Montegrappa which reminds us that everything we are able to achieve comes from the vision of our great leaders to create a country in which we value education, scientific exploration and push the limits of human progress. Mankind’s ability to reason, to write and pass our learnings and values through generations is at the core of this philosophy.”