Buzz Aldrin looking out a window of Apollo 11, taken by Mike Collins
Longtime readers of this blog will know that I love, love, love, science photography, and specifically space photography. Aesthetically, these photographs and video are frequently awe-inspiringly cool, as evidenced in part by the photos from the Cassini probe featured a while back on The Big Picture. Or, even better, the film ‘Brilliant Noise,’ by UK duo Semiconductor, using only images of the sun taken from various telescopes and satelites and set to sound, which was the highlight of last year’s Nuit Blanche here in Paris.
My favorite recent find was a short post on Concientious back in August:
While looking for something entirely different today I found an archive with unedited scans of the Hasselblad cameras used aboard the Apollo 7 till 17 mission: Go here, and then click on “Full Hasselblad Magazines.” That way, you can look at the contact sheets of the Apollo space missions.
These images are alot of fun to sift through, and I encourage you sto spend some time with them. They reek of both the quietness of space as well as a testoserone fueled 60’s utopianism that led to one of humankind’s greatest achievements.
Looking at them again reminds me of a piece of information that I picked up about the cameras that took many of these pictures. These cameras were modified Hasselblads that were used in conjunction with preloaded backs with special Kodak film (an engrossing history of early space photography can be found here). Two camera bodies were taken down to the lunar surface during the original moonwalk, but, due to weight restrictions, during liftoff, these cameras were left on the lunar surface while the backs were taken back to earth. Somewhere on the moon, there sits a series of lightly-used one of a kind Hasselblads, waiting for some ridiculously ardent camera collector to find…