Pioneering Space Camera Sells at Auction for $275,000

/ Source: Associated Press
The Hasselblad camera body and Zeiss lens carried into orbit onboard NASA's Mercury-Atlas 8 mission in 1962 where it was used by astronaut Wally Schirra, and again on Mercury-Atlas 9 in 1963 where it was used by astronaut Gordon Cooper.
The Hasselblad camera body and Zeiss lens carried into orbit onboard NASA's Mercury-Atlas 8 mission in 1962 where it was used by astronaut Wally Schirra, and again on Mercury-Atlas 9 in 1963 where it was used by astronaut Gordon Cooper.AP Photo / RR Auctions

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

The camera that "would forever change our view of Earth" from space more than a half century ago has been sold at auction for $275,000, the auctioneer says.

The Hasselblad camera body and Zeiss lens, reportedly purchased by astronaut Wally Schirra at a Houston photo supply shop in 1962 and believed carried into orbit aboard the Mercury-Atlas 8 and 9 missions, was sold Thursday by Boston-based RR Auction to a private collector in the United Kingdom who wished remain anonymous.

The Hasselblad camera body and Zeiss lens carried into orbit onboard NASA's Mercury-Atlas 8 mission in 1962 where it was used by astronaut Wally Schirra, and again on Mercury-Atlas 9 in 1963 where it was used by astronaut Gordon Cooper.
The Hasselblad camera body and Zeiss lens carried into orbit onboard NASA's Mercury-Atlas 8 mission in 1962 where it was used by astronaut Wally Schirra, and again on Mercury-Atlas 9 in 1963 where it was used by astronaut Gordon Cooper.AP Photo / RR Auctions

The camera was top of the line at the time, costing more than $400, and vastly improved the quality of space photography, said Bobby Livingston, RR's executive vice president.

"In terms of photograph quality the Hasselblad camera at the time was in a league of its own — and it was this camera that would forever change our view of Earth," he said. The selling price was far above the $50,000 to $100,000 the camera was expected to fetch.

The camera is in good hands. "The new owner has a passion for space photography and understands its historic significance," Livingston said. "He'll take care of it."

—AP

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
MORE FROM news