Shooting high

Posted on 01/01/2015 by IED

The first Hasselblad camera body and Zeiss lens, carried into orbit by Wally Schirra on the Mercury-Atlas 8 space mission and attested to by fellow astronaut Gordon Cooper as being used during Mercury-Atlas 9, has been sold at auction in the US for $275,000.

Schirra, who identified the Hasselblad as his equipment of choice – and held in the highest regard by photographers for its superior engineering, craftsmanship and top-of-the-line quality reportedly purchased the Hasselblad 500c camera at a Houston photo supply shop in 1962 and brought it back to NASA for mission-use preparation.

The modifications that were made by the United States Air Force camera laboratory, in conjunction with Schirra, and Cooper included the installation of a 100-exposure film container, an aiming device mounted on the side and modification of the camera surface, plus the original metal facing was repainted black to minimise reflection.

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