Quantcast

Camera from NASA’s moon missions sold at auction for $760K

By Agence France-Presse
Saturday, March 22, 2014 16:46 EDT
google plus icon
Astronaut John W. Young, commander of the Apollo 16 lunar landing mission, leaps from the lunar surface as he salutes the US Flag at the Descartes landing site during the first Apollo 16 extravehicular activity in April 1972. A series of American flags that were planted on the moon during visits by Apollo astronauts some four decades ago are still standing, except for one. (AFP Photo/)
Topics:
 
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Email this page

The only camera to return from NASA’s moon missions in 1969-1972 was sold at an auction in Vienna Saturday for 550,000 euros ($760,000), far outdoing its estimated price.

The boxy silver-coloured camera, which was sold to a telephone bidder, was initially valued at 150,000-200,000 euros.

The Hasselblad model was one of 14 cameras sent to the moon as part of NASA’s Apollo 11-17 missions but was the only one to be brought back.

As a rule, the cameras — which weighed several kilogrammes (pounds) and could be attached to the front of a space suit — were abandoned to allow the astronauts to bring back moon rock, weight being a prime concern on the missions.

“It has moon dust on it… I don’t think any other camera has that,” Peter Coeln, owner of the Westlicht gallery which organised the auction, said of the rare piece.

The camera, which was being sold by a private collector, was used by astronaut Jim Irwin to take 299 pictures during the Apollo 15 mission in July-August 1971.

A small plate inside is engraved with the number 38, the same number that appears on Irwin’s NASA snapshots.

Close to 600 objects were on sale on Saturday. The Westlicht gallery is the world’s largest auction house for cameras and has overseen the sale of some of the most expensive photographic equipment in history, including a 1923 Leica camera prototype that sold for 2.16 million euros, a world record.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
 
 
 
 
By commenting, you agree to our terms of service
and to abide by our commenting policy.
 
Google+