Space $ou­venirs

Air & Space Smithsonian - - Front Page - BY RACHEL MANTEUFFEL

Some Apollo col­lectibles are very mov­ing; oth­ers are just plain dis­gust­ing.

t Mer­cury 8’s Wally Schirra, the only as­tro­naut to fly Mer­cury, Gemini, Apollo

and mis­sions, al­legedly bought this 500C off the shelf from a cam­era shop in Hous­ton be­fore bring­ing it aboard Mer­cury 8 and mak­ing it the first pro­fes­sional-grade cam­era in space. Ac­cord­ing to his notes, Gor­don Cooper brought a cam­era on Mer­cury 9 that had flown on Mer­cury 8. RR Auc­tions, which han­dled the sale of the cam­era last year, con­firmed that its Zeiss lens flew on both mis­sions, and the film mag­a­zine flew on Mer­cury 9; it cer­ti­fied that the cam­era body had flown on Mer­cury 8 but was un­will­ing to claim it had been along on Mer­cury 9 too. “Used by me to ob­tain a num­ber of good shots,” Cooper wrote for au­then­ti­ca­tion—on his Mickey Mouse sta­tionery. Has­sel­blads flew on ev­ery Apollo mis­sion and on ev­ery space shut­tle mis­sion.

An anony­mous U.K. buyer pur­chased this cam­era through RR Auc­tions last year for $250,000. He told Robert Pearl­man of col­lectspace that he’s been in touch with the Mu­seum about how to pre­serve, and per­haps dis­play, the Has­sel­blad.

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