The First Ever Hasselblad Camera in Space Sells for £180k

By Matt Hill on at

High-end snapsmith Hasselblad, which has an enviable history of documenting NASA's many journeys into space with suitably pricey equipment, has flogged its first ever camera to make the trip for a cool £180k (well, $281,250 to be precise).

And despite the auction being based in Boston, Massachusetts, it was an anonymous UK-based internet bidder that took the fascinating photographic prize, the "major space artefacts collector" sending their online clicks sailing past the $100,000 top estimate.

The 1962 Hasselblad 500c was used by late astronaut Wally Schirra, the fifth man in space, on his Mercury Atlas mission. Bought for just $15,000 (£9,600) in 1994, its seller is now presumably doing cartwheels in Cristal after that haul.

"Wally Schirra was a great camera enthusiast, but it was only after he took the Hasselblad with him that NASA's whole photographic identity began to take shape," says RR Auction vice-president Bobby Livingston.

"Modifications… included fitting a 100-exposure film container, an aiming device on the side and painting all the metal surfaces black to minimise reflections." [Hasselblad via Absolute Photo]