First camera used in space goes up for auction

Hasselblad camera first taken into orbit by Wally Schirra in 1962 to be auctioned on 13 November


The first camera used in space is due to go up for auction in Boston, Massachusetts on 13 November.

RR Auction is responsible for the sale of the Hasselblad camera body and Zeiss lens, first taken into space by Wally Schirra on the ‘Mercury-Atlas 8’, a nine-hour orbital flight launched by NASA on 3 October 1962.

It was then used by Gordon Cooper to take photographs a year later on ‘Mercury-Atlas 9’, the final mission of the US Mercury programme launched on 15 May 1963.

The project ran from 1959 to 1963 as part of the early space race with the Soviet Union, which managed to launch the first human – Yuri Gagarin- into outer space on April 12 1961.

Schirra bought the camera at a shop in Houston in 1962, before taking it to NASA to be prepared for the mission into space.  

“It was not until astronaut Wally Schirra—a known camera enthusiast—naturally sought the finest camera available at the time to accompany him on his MA-8 mission that NASA’s photographic identity began to take shape,” said Bobby Livingston, executive VP at RR Auction.