Hasselblad Marks NASA’s Apollo 11 Lunar Photo Shoot

Ever since their first journey into space on October 3,1962, as part of the U.S. Space Program, Hasselblad cameras have captured thousands of breathtaking images that have given us a clearer perspective of our world and its surroundings.

Forty years ago this week, on July 16, 1969, Hasselblad cameras joined NASA’s Apollo 11 crew for the first manned moon landing, capturing images that remain among the most recognizable ever recorded.

To paraphrase astronaut Neil Armstrong, who took the first lunar photos: “This ‘small step for man’ proved to be a giant leap for photography.”

Special modifications and improvements have been required to meet the stringent demands of space travel. Hasselblad cameras were not originally designed to work in extreme temperatures and conditions, but they did, flawlessly. The cameras performed perfectly in over 120° C in the sun, and -65° C in the shade, as well as zero gravity, and myriad unknown hazards. They had to work with absolute consistency, since each and every shot might have had historic significance.

The design and development methods begun over 40 years ago continue to this day, as Hasselblad invents new technologies and finds new solutions to the challenges photographers encounter every day. They know that even on earth, a photographer’s life is filled with historic opportunities that may never come again.

NASA chose Hasselblad cameras to go into space because they were the best cameras on earth – a claim the company still proudly makes today. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of that historic l969 lunar landing, Hasselblad is inviting anyone who purchases an H3DII-50 or H3DII-60 to join them at the Kennedy Space Center to celebrate the past and future of photographic technology.

For more information on the decades-long partnership between NASA and Hasselblad click here, and to find out how to join the celebration at the Kennedy Space Center, click here.

Hasselblad in Space Factoids

~ The Hasselblad Electric Data Camera (HEDC), designed for use on the surface of the moon, had a glass plate with reference crosses that recorded on the film during exposure. These crosses can be seen on all pictures taken on the moon from 1969 to 1972.

~ The first lunar pictures were taken by Neil Armstrong on July 20, 1969.

~ The 12 HEDC cameras used on the surface of the moon were left there; only the film magazines returned to earth.

~ The Hasselblad 500C was the first Hasselblad camera to be used by NASA in space. It was purchased by astronaut Walter M. Schirra at a camera shop in Houston, Texas. NASA removed the lining, mirror, focusing screen, hood, etc. to make the camera lighter.