Awesome story. I work in a nuclear power plant. Rocket science and nuclear power share a need for error free performance with a focus on safety. Our training includes lessons learned from the space programs. But the downfall is when you spend so much time focused on detail it can be difficult to transition to accepting something with less exacting tolerances. My son is a welder and has transitioned to woodworking. He told me as a welder, he cuts on the “short side” of the line whereas when working with wood he cuts on the “proud” side. A welder can fill in with a little more stick. With wood, sand and file. I told him to just measure better and cut down the middle so it fits the first time. Have a great day.I related to this post being an engineer and a woodworker. Sometime scope creep isn't your fault too. I drew cabinets for our kitchen in a Sketchup. The model was really a detailed assembly model. It took months to complete because I worked on it after work at night. I showed it to The Customer (wife) and she liked it. The next day she said the words that ruined my life "I liked on Pintrist and I want to move things around." After 3 months making changes she said she liked the original model better. I am so glad I archived that file. It took so long because I worked on it after work. It was painful changing it.
Like I said I am an engineer. What I didn't say is I'm the mist small type - aerospace. What the story above didn't say is graphite can react with aluminum in space which will lead to the metal getting compromised. It is also conductive which is dangerous in a space vehicle. We are not allowed to bring a pencil anywhere near the spacecraft at work or in the clean room for that matter. You would be challenged to find a pencil in the building at all. The contamination issues prohibit their use.
The Russuans on the other had saw Cosmonauts as an expendable commodity in the early days. Our space program was much safer, especially after the Apollo 1 disaster. That was a horrible teagedy that could have been prevented. Very sad.