Only recovered Apollo Hasselblad camera comes up for auction

by | Jan 31, 2014 | Apollo, History, NASA | 0 comments

Space memorabilia and camera collectors (this writer counts as both) will be in a frenzy as the world’s only still film camera to have been carried on the Moon and returned to Earth, a Hasselblad EDC (a modified EL), comes up for sale at auction.  The example on sale was carried by Apollo 15 astronaut Jim Irwin.  There are, of course, other lunar Hasselblad cameras in existence.  But they were all left on the moon by NASA whose reasoning was that instead of bringing back the camera bodies (the film backs were recovered), they could carry more lunar rock samples back instead.  The full story is here:

http://www.space-travel.com/reports/Sole_camera_from_NASA_moon_missions_to_be_auctioned_999.html

While less compact than 35mm cameras, Swedish-built Hasselblad cameras were known for their image quality due to their medium format film (it carried more detail than 35mm) and due to the high quality Carl Zeiss lenses carried by the cameras.  The cameras were also famous for their build quality and quick interchangeability via their switchable film backs.  Likewise wedding and fashion photographers of the 1960s and 1970s also came to appreciate their old fashioned leaf shutters which allowed a greater range of flash synchronisation speeds.  

Having proved their worth (C versions) on earlier Project Mercury and Gemini missions, Hasselblads became the cameras of choice (albeit in the motorised EL/EDC variant) for NASA and its Apollo astronauts.  Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong famously carried one mounted on his chest while walking on the lunar surface and used it to photograph Buzz Aldrin on the Moon – but then, in a mission oversight – famously failed to get himself imaged properly.

The expected sale price of the Apollo Hasselblad is circa $200,000.  It may be a poor investment if NASA, China or Russia get their manned lunar return programmes up and running and recover the other ones left on the lunar surface.

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to www.seradata.com/spacetrak

Related Articles

To the relief of many, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is launched successfully by Ariane 5

European launch provider Arianespace successfully launched an Ariane 5 ECA vehicle from Kourou Space Centre, French Guiana, at 1220 GMT Read more

NASA IXPE telescope mission is finally launched by a Falcon 9

A Falcon 9v1.2 Block 5 rocket successfully launched the IXPE - Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer mission for NASA on 8 Read more

NASA launches DART asteroid deflection mission

Hollywood’s disaster movie genre has long been keen on the theme of the Earth being threatened by the imminent impact Read more

NASA gives Intuitive Machines contract to carry rovers and scientific payloads to lunar surface

NASA has awarded the Houson, Texas-based firm Intuitive Machines a US$77 million contract to deliver scientific and rover payloads to Read more

Crew Dragon – NASA Crew 2 undocks from the ISS and returns to Earth…then Crew Dragon – NASA Crew 3 is launched by Falcon 9 on way to space station

On 8 November 2021 at 1905 GMT, Crew Dragon - NASA Crew 2 Endeavour autonomously undocked from the IDA-3 /PMA-3 Read more

Bezos and Blue Origin bow out of legal battle to get lunar lander contract after court goes against them

“Not the decision we wanted, but we respect the court’s judgment, and wish full success for NASA and SpaceX on Read more

Nanoracks-Lockheed Martin team plots Starlab space station…then Blue Origin-Boeing-Sierra Space team announces Orbital Reef design

Nanoracks, in collaboration with Voyager Space and Lockheed Martin, has formed a team to develop the first free-flying commercial space Read more

NASA selects gamma-ray telescope COSI as its next SMEX mission

  NASA has selected the Compton Spectrometer and Imager (COSI) spacecraft as its next Small Explorer (SMEX) class mission. The Read more

Categories

Archives

Tags