On this day, 43 years ago, and some 238,857 miles from Earth, the first humans touched down on the Moon’s surface with a modified Hasselblad camera. As on all manned American space missions since October 1962, the crew have used Hasselblad camera equipment for the photographic documentation. To date there are currently 12 abandoned Hasselblad cameras on the moon’s surface.
The space shuttle carried five Hasselblad 553ELS cameras, around fifty Hasselblad 70mm magazines, a variety of Carl Zeiss lenses (50-250 mm). Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took hundreds of images miles above the Earth. NASA selected Hasselblad cameras for their easily interchangeable lenses and film magazines, the 70mm magazine was hurried through production to meet space flight deadlines. For their 2 hour and 36 minute moon walk, the techinical specifications were immense, but one thing was clear: the camera had to be easy to use with little mobility, have quickly swappable film magazines, and be inflammable during a high oxygen journey. Hassleblad took to the challenge of creating a stripped back, metal box to capture mans first lunar walk.
Other notable tweaks included replacing the traditional mirror waist-level viewfinder with a square gridded eye level finder made especially for NASA astronauts to see through their clunky suits, an occupational hazard in outer space. To celebrate the partnership and creation of these iconic images from 1962-1972, we’ve put together a playlist of the best songs inspired by outer space to compliment these stunning photographs.