Hasselblad re-issues the original 1969 press release for the cameras that captured Moon landing + photos

Jul 4, 2019

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Hasselblad re-issues the original 1969 press release for the cameras that captured Moon landing + photos

Jul 4, 2019

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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On 20 July 1969, astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong were the first men to set their feet on the surface of the Moon. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, Hasselblad has re-issued the original press release for the 500C cameras that were used to capture these historical moments.

The Apollo 11 mission wasn’t the first collaboration between NASA and Hasselblad. Naval captain and mission pilot of the 1962 Mercury program, Walter “Wally” Schirra, owned a Hasselblad 500C already. He suggested to NASA that they use a Hasselblad to document space since, and NASA bought a few 500Cs. However, they needed to undergo a weight-loss program so they could go to space. “The leather covering, auxiliary shutter, reflex mirror, and viewfinder were removed. A new film magazine was constructed in order to allow for 70 exposures instead of the usual 12. Finally, a matte black outer paint job minimized reflections in the window of the orbiter,” Hasselblad explains. This “hacked” Hasselblad found itself in the payload for Mercury 8 (MA-8) in October 1962.

Fast forward seven years, and another Hasselblad camera was taken to the Moon. A Hasselblad Data Camera (HDC) was taken down to the surface, paired with a Zeiss Biogon 60mm ƒ/5.6 lens. It contained a 70mm film magazine with specially formulated thin-base Kodak film, allowing for 200 images per magazine. Before the Apollo 11 mission, the astronauts got a comprehensive manual from Hasselblad. It was meant to teach them how to take photos in space, and I’d say that they surely did well. You can even take a peek at the manual here.

Hasselblad HDC

To shoot from inside the Eagle lunar module, the team used another Hasselblad Electric Camera (HEC) with a Zeiss Planar 80mm ƒ/2.8 lens. “Installed in the HDC was a Réseau plate, which optically imprinted fixed cross-marks allowing for photogrammetric measurements to be made from the resulting negative,” Hasselblad writes. “The HDC was specifically designed to cope with the rigors of the lunar surface; it was painted silver as a way to stabilize the camera when moving between temperatures ranging from -65° C (-85° F) to over 120° C (248° F).”

Hasselblad HEC

On the lunar surface, Neil Armstrong carried out all the photography himself. He had the HDC attached to his chest, and the pressure was huge because the camera had never been tested in space before. But as we all know by now, the camera proved to be working perfectly, and the astronauts ended up with some of the most iconic photos of the 20th century. Five years ago, one of the cameras was sold at an auction for 3/4 of a million dollars ($758,489 to be exact).

Check out some photos of the moon landing below. And if you’d like to read the original manual from 1969, it’s available via this link.

© NASA
© NASA
© NASA
© NASA
© NASA
© NASA

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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13 responses to “Hasselblad re-issues the original 1969 press release for the cameras that captured Moon landing + photos”

  1. Steven Wilson Avatar
    Steven Wilson

    I seen the originals last week at cosmosphere space centre ?

    1. Вергунов Сергей Avatar
      Вергунов Сергей

      It does not mean these cameras have ever been on the Moon. The negatives are declared ‘lost’. Very convinient.

  2. Вергунов Сергей Avatar
    Вергунов Сергей

    They captured Moon landing in Callifornia, not on the Moon. The films are conviniently ‘lost’. All material evidence of those ‘Moon landings’ is lost as well.

    1. Hmmm Avatar
      Hmmm

      What difference does it matter anyway? It’s not like you or I would even qualify to travel to the moon, never mind in space lab orbiting above the earth.

    2. James West Avatar
      James West

      Stick to camera talk, not wingnut conspiracy theories.

  3. Вергунов Сергей Avatar
    Вергунов Сергей

    They have all ‘lost’ to hide the fact Americans have never been on the Moon in the first place. Just google. https://phys.org/news/2006-08-nasa-moon-lost.html for instance…

    1. Adrian J Nyaoi Avatar
      Adrian J Nyaoi

      Вергунов Сергей the chinese was there first, followed by the Indian.

    2. Вергунов Сергей Avatar
      Вергунов Сергей

      Adrian J Nyaoi No man was on the Moon so far. Your humor appreciated.

    3. Ignasi Jacob Avatar
      Ignasi Jacob

      Nazis were earlier, on 1945, and still lives on the dark side.

    4. Johnny Martyr Avatar
      Johnny Martyr

      Ignasi, there’s even a movie to that effect!

    5. Ignasi Jacob Avatar
      Ignasi Jacob

      Johnny Martyr I know, includes a sequel. Even more, both are made by crowdfunding.

  4. Hmmm Avatar
    Hmmm

    Ha. None of the green dot lens flare you see on iPhones these days.

  5. Robert Pearson Avatar
    Robert Pearson

    It doesn’t say how much this re-issued camera will cost.