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.