Moon Camera
March 30, 2007 10:37 AM   Subscribe

“When a few of the space pioneers sat down to sketch out how a practical space camera should look one of them had suddenly exclaimed: ‘That's starting to look like my Hasselblad’." NASA originally didn’t think much of space photography until Walter Schirra brought his Hasselblad 500C along on his Sigma 7 Mercury flight. Impressed by the results, NASA responded by commissioning the Hasselblad Data Camera, a stripped-down HasselBlad 500EL that accompanied all Apollo missions to the moon. In the hands of moonwalking astronauts, the Data Camera’s custom medium format film and Zeiss Biogon 5.6/60mm lens captured images of remarkable clarity, color, and sometimes composition. What's your favorite? [warning: frameset - try the "Full Hasselblad Magazines" link].
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot (32 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
Hey Hasselblad 500C, that's my camera! (C/M actually, bequeathed by my Grandfather).
posted by nathancaswell at 10:42 AM on March 30, 2007

I think that the greatest ever Apollo picture would have been the picture of both Conrad and Bean together, in front of the Surveyor spacecraft. Sadly, they couldn't find the timer that they'd smuggled up there, so it was not to be.
posted by veedubya at 10:43 AM on March 30, 2007

[this is awesome]
posted by boo_radley at 10:44 AM on March 30, 2007

Nice post, CJP
posted by doctor_negative at 11:09 AM on March 30, 2007

Great links. I have the book Full Moon, by Michael Light. It's a beautifully printed hard cover with tons of the best Apollo photographs from the entire run of the missions. Great great stuff.
posted by JBennett at 11:16 AM on March 30, 2007

I still shit myself whenever I see pictures from the Apollo missions.

"OMFG! They're walking on the Moon! The fucking Moon! That's insane!"
posted by brundlefly at 11:20 AM on March 30, 2007

[this is good]
posted by Freen at 11:33 AM on March 30, 2007

That final "Full Hasselblad Magazines" link is incredible. It's great to see that not every shot was a gem. Some of the "sunstruck" and accidental exposures are really neat. I've never seen so many of these.
posted by JBennett at 11:40 AM on March 30, 2007

Fuck, I fudged my first two links.

Preview, dammit, preview.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 11:47 AM on March 30, 2007

I had this picture above my bed all throughout childhood. It still makes my heart race to look at it. Thanks for the back story, Chinese Jet Pilot.
posted by felix betachat at 12:09 PM on March 30, 2007

Very very cool. (Aren't these all from a sound stage in Conspiristan?)
posted by maxwelton at 12:10 PM on March 30, 2007

It has bothered me (for a loooong time) that there are 12 beautiful Hasselblad bodies & lenses still sitting up there on the moon. (Due to weight constraints, they only brought the film backs on the return flight).
posted by spock at 12:39 PM on March 30, 2007

Yeah, I'm shaving. In space. So what.
From the "Full Hasselblad Magazines" link
posted by Termite at 12:41 PM on March 30, 2007 [1 favorite]

All fake. No one ever went to the moon.

posted by sharpener at 1:01 PM on March 30, 2007

Thanks for posting.
posted by Jay Reimenschneider at 2:26 PM on March 30, 2007

"OMFG! They're walking on the Moon! The fucking Moon! That's insane!"

So close.
posted by GuyZero at 2:29 PM on March 30, 2007

These are gorgeous, but damnit, now you've got me poking around the Hasselblad site. I could spend myself into a very, very deep hole here.
posted by Spike at 2:57 PM on March 30, 2007

veedubya - as it turns out, alan bean is an artist and he painted a picture of what that photo would have looked like. it's in this book.

there might be another version, but i found this with GIS: link
posted by joeblough at 2:58 PM on March 30, 2007

Your posts are always excellent.
I'll trade you a sample of your DNA for a box of Space Food Sticks.
posted by Dizzy at 3:07 PM on March 30, 2007

Dizzy: How about for a Buzz Aldrin?
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot at 3:50 PM on March 30, 2007

Great post, rich with wonderful material. May well go into the Metafilter annals, and deservedly so.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:54 PM on March 30, 2007

I love the Tang, I love the Firewater.
Thank the stars no one has concocted a "Flaming Gus".
Or "Screw The Pooch Hooch".
posted by Dizzy at 3:59 PM on March 30, 2007

Awesome, joeblough. I knew that Al Bean was an artist, but didn't know about that book. Interesting that it's co-authored by Chaikin. Being an Apollo geek, I've got a copy of Chaikin's 'A Man On The Moon' that's signed by Gene Kranz.

Anyway, I've just ordered the book. Sadly, ordering from Amazon UK means no referral for MeFi.
posted by veedubya at 6:11 PM on March 30, 2007

This is one my favourites - love those chutes.
posted by strawberryviagra at 6:20 PM on March 30, 2007

Awesome. Thanks for sharing!
posted by homodigitalis at 7:42 PM on March 30, 2007

This is a great post in so many ways. Thank you.
posted by wander at 9:37 PM on March 30, 2007

Holy mother of fuck.
posted by dirigibleman at 12:00 AM on March 31, 2007

I don't know why, but I get kind of emotional when I hear stories of well made products being put to unexpected and amazing uses.

Something about how anybody, if you do good work, can contribute to something amazing and beautiful.
posted by empath at 10:55 AM on March 31, 2007 [1 favorite]

Thank you, CJP. Still can't seem to read anything about Apollo without thinking of Apollo 1, Gus Grissom, White, and Chaffee. Sad face.
posted by avriette at 5:14 PM on March 31, 2007

veedubya: cool. you know what bugs me is that one time chaikin was on NASA TV basically doing a 2-hour presentation from 'A Man on the Moon', and i caught part of it by accident. then i wanted to set my tivo to record it, but i couldnt find one single person in the nasaTV PR office that could tell me when it would be on again.

the timeslots are very helpfully labelled 'video file', 'education hour', etc. F NASA TV!!
posted by joeblough at 7:57 PM on April 2, 2007

« Older Eraserhead re-release includes CGI KFC bucket   |   What's the maximum dosage for Dramamine? Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments