Hasselblad in Space
The 20th of July, 2019, marked the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong and Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin’s becoming the first men to walk on the moon as part of the Apollo 11 mission. The lunar module, Eagle, descended to the surface of the Moon and the astronauts spent two and a half hours exploring, setting up experiments, gathering samples, and taking photos whilst Michael Collins stayed on board the command module, Columbia, orbiting above.
NASA’s equipment of choice for this mission: Hasselblad. Armstrong was carrying the crew’s silver Hasselblad Data Camera (HDC) fitted with a Zeiss Biogon 60mm ƒ/5,6 lens and 70mm film magazine. Meanwhile, a black Hasselblad Electric Camera (HEC) with a Zeiss Planar 80mm ƒ/2,8 lens was used to photograph images from within the Eagle. The two cameras were amongst several pieces of hardware left on the moon’s surface. After the film magazines had been removed from the camera bodies, the bodies and lenses were left on the lunar surface to make room for lunar samples in the spacecraft.
A third black Hasselblad Electric Camera was used on the Columbia while it orbited the moon during this same mission. That camera, handled by Collins, was safely returned to the Earth’s surface. In all, the Apollo 11 mission took 340 high-quality photographs while on the surface of the Moon: 217 from inside the lunar module, and 123 during the actual moonwalk.
This historic lunar landing paved the way for future space exploration and opened the door to boundless curiosity and discovery. To celebrate the occasion, we have chosen to show some photographs taken here on Earth in our studios by one of our photographers, Peter Howard Smith. Peter also uses Hasselblad (H5D), which as it happens has been our own equipment of choice for the past 35 years.
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