APOLLO ERA PHOTOGRAPHY

//APOLLO ERA PHOTOGRAPHY
APOLLO ERA PHOTOGRAPHY2018-02-25T07:15:59+00:00

Approximately 20,000 in-flight mission photographs were collected during the Apollo Program, primarily with Hasselblad and Nikon cameras.  In addition, thousand more images were taken remotely by the metric and panoramic cameras situated on the command module.  In total, there are approximately 31,000 Apollo mission in-flight images.  This number does not include the images taken with the 16mm film cameras.

The Hasselblad Camera Images

The most iconic Apollo era images were taken with Hasselblad cameras produced by a Swedish camera manufacturer.  The Hasselblad cameras used during the Apollo era had Zeiss lenses and were well-known for their reliability and excellent quality.   A Hasselblad camera was the first held-held camera taken into space during the Mercury Program and Hasselblad cameras were used on all NASA subsequent Gemini and Apollo missions, including by Apollo astronauts on the lunar surface.   Film for the cameras was pre-loaded onto interchangeable magazines that could be switched out as conditions required.  Each film magazine generally contained up to approximately 160 color and 200 black and white pictures on special film developed by Kodak for NASA.

As Hasselblad proudly, and accurately, states on its website:

There are perhaps no images in the history of photography more famous and more influential than those taken with Hasselblads in space.

Truly, the list of classic images that came from these missions is almost endless; a single man hovering in the blackness of space, the earth-rise as seen from the moon, the solitary, dramatic shape of man’s first steps on the lunar surface…

These images, perhaps more than any of our time, captured the history of mankind in the making.

Early NASA Missions

Mercury Astronaut Wally Schirra brought the first Hasselblad camera (a Hasselblad 500C) into space on his Mercury Atlas-8 mission in October, 1962.  Schirra purchased the camera from a local camera shop and modified it himself.   Following that mission, the Hasselblad became the primary camera for all future missions.  The Hasselblad SWC was first used on the Gemini 9 and subsequent Gemini missions.

The Hasselblad 500EL cameras were first used on Apollo 8, the first mission to orbit the Moon.  The electric motors in the 500EL cameras greatly automated lunar photography.  While astronauts had to set distance, aperture, and shutter speed, the camera automatically exposed and wound the film. Other modifications, such as specialized levers on the aperture and distance settings, made operation of the cameras possible while wearing pressurized spacesuits and gloves.  The cameras also had a sighting ring, instead of a reflex mirror viewfinder, to help the astronaut point the camera.

Lunar Landing Missions

The Hasselblad Electric Data Camera (EDC), a modified Hasselblad 500EL, was used for all the Apollo lunar landing missions (Apollo 11 through 17).  One of the most notable features visible in images taken with the Hasselblad EDC cameras are small grid marks shaped like a cross or plus sign (+).  These grid marks were created by glass Reseau plates which were engraved with the grid marks and were placed between the film magazine and the camera body.  These grid markings made it possible to calibrate distance and height in the photos and appear on every Hasselblad image from Apollo 11 through Apollo 17.

Apollo Lunar Surface Closeup Camera (ALSCC)

Apollo 11, Apollo 12, and Apollo 14 each carried Apollo Lunar Surface Closeup Cameras (ALSCC) to the lunar surface.  These cameras were used to take close-up stereo images.  The cameras were held approximately ten inches above the surface and each exposure produced two side-by-side images of the same area.  These images were used to produce detailed stereo photographs of lunar soil and rocks.

Nikon Cameras

Coming soon!

The Apollo mission Hasselblad photographs are arranged by Program Mission and specific film magazines.

70mm Hasselblad Images

Apollo 4   1 Magazine    713 Images

Apollo 6   1 Magazine    373 Images

Apollo 7   9 Magazines    539 Exposures/533 Useable Images

Apollo 8   7 Magazines    865 Exposures/862 Useable Images

Apollo 9   11 Magazines    1378 Exposures/1374 Useable Images

Apollo 10   9 Magazines    1442 Exposures/1436 Useable Images

Apollo 11   9 Magazines    1409 Exposures/1408 Useable Images

Apollo 12   14 Magazines    2124 Exposures/2114 Useable Images

Apollo 13   5 Magazines    601 Exposures/Images

Apollo 14   14 Magazines    1338 Images

Apollo 15   19 Magazines    2651 Images

Apollo 16   22 Magazines    2805 Images

Apollo 17   23 Magazines    3584 Images

Metric Images (SIM BAY)

Apollo 15     2616 Images

Apollo 16     2497 Images

Apollo 17     2138 Images

Panoramic Images (SIM BAY)

Apollo 15     1529 Images

Apollo 16     1435 Images

Apollo 17     1581 Images

Apollo Lunar Surface Closeup Camera (ALSCC) Images (35mm)

Apollo 11, Magazine 45 (W) AS11-45-6697A to AS11-45-6714A     35 Images

Apollo 12, Magazine 57 (FF) AS12-57-8441A to AS12-57-8455B     30 Images

Apollo 14, Magazine 77 (??) AS14-77-10357A to AS14-77-10374A     35 Images

35mm Nikon Images

Apollo 17   8 Magazines    404 (408) Images

Other Images

Magazine AS16-123-19613 to AS16-123-19821 [209 black and white images]

Magazine AS16-127-19990 to AS16-127-20026 [47 black and white images]

Magazine AS16-129-20033 to AS16-129-20079 [47 black and white images]

Magazine AS16-132-20183 to AS16-132-20192 [10 color images]

Unmanned Apollo Flights

Apollo 4

The Apollo 4 mission carried one 70MM camera. There were a total of 756 exposures made on 1 magazine of color film.

Magazine  AS04-01-044 to AS04-01-755  [713 color images (0 surface; 0 orbital; 713 other)]

Apollo 6

The Apollo 6 mission carried one 70MM camera. There were a total of 755 exposures made on 1 magazine of color film.

Magazine  AS06-02-1000 to AS06-02-999   [373 color images (0 surface; 0 orbital; 373 other)]

Mercury Program Mission Images (528 total images)

MR3 – 180 images

MA6 – 75 images

MA7 – 206 images

MA8 – 14 images

MA9 – 53 images

Gemini Program Mission Images (3001 total images)

Gemini 3 – 30 images S65-18737 to S65-18761

Gemini 4 – 363 images (294 useable)

Gemini 5 – 402 images (357 useable)

Gemini 6 – 260 images (202 useable)

Gemini 7 – 467 images (440 useable)

Gemini 8 – 21 images

Gemini 9 – 368 images (367 useable)

Gemini 10 – 374 images (357 useable)

Gemini 11 – 242 images

Gemini 12 – 474 images

Apollo-Soyuz Test Project Images

Coming soon!

Sources:

Astronaut Still Photography During Apollo:

https://history.nasa.gov/apollo_photo.html

Hasselblad in Space

https://www.hasselblad.com/history/hasselblad-in-space/

Images of Apollo 11 Hasselblad camera at the Smithsonian:

https://airandspace.si.edu/collection-objects/camera-hasselblad-70mm-apollo-11