Apollo 11 Mission Story in Photos

apollo 11 moon landing

Photo by NASA

Nowadays we managed to send a mission to Mars, but back in 60's people were still shocked and couldn't believe that it was possible to go to the Moon at all. Or even more than that, take a real photo there, and get back home safe with the images.

The heading picture of Buzz Aldrin, a member of Apollo 11 space mission, is considered to be one of the most controversial photos of the 20th century. The shot was taken by Neil Armstrong using a 70mm lunar surface camera by Hasselblad that he—as well as his colleague—wore on his neck and left it on the alien planet to stay, bringing only the exposed film back to the Earth.

Armstrong mentioned that though people seemed to think that the mission was not too difficult to carry out, it actually turned out to be really complicated due to the unexpected problems during the landing, short mission time, and a huge checklist of things that the astronauts had to do.

neil armstrong moonwalk

Photo by NASA

This list contained such things as placing scientific instruments at the landing site, taking a 60-meter walk from the site over the Moon surface, collecting a soil sample, leaving a package of memorial items to late Soviet cosmonauts Yuri Gagarin and Vladimir Komarov, and making a few shots.

apollo 11 mission

Photo by NASA

The mission was equipped with an array of photo cameras to be used for various tasks: a 70-mm Hasselblad electric camera, two 70-mm lunar surface superwide-angle cameras, one Hasselblad El data camera, two 16-mm Maurer data acquisition cameras, one 35-mm surface close-up stereoscopic camera, and a television camera

The most famous photos made on the lunar surface by the crew were taken with a 70mm Hasselblad, which became the tipping point in producing cameras for space still photography by the world's renowned photography equipment vendor.

The camera has been produced especially for this task and therefore its mechanism was simplified to be used in space. It was motor-driven and it automatically prepared the film and the shutter upon activation. You can see a big shutter button located under the camera lens.

hasselblad cameras apollo 11

Photo by Hasselblad

This tool, which had no viewfinder at all, was really tricky to use and required a lot of practice to master. That's why NASA told Armstrong and Aldrin take the cameras home and learn to use them. Whether thanks to the quality of the camera and film or the astronauts' knack for making photos, they were able to use it well and almost all pictures that were taken back to the Earth during Apollo 11 were taken with this camera.

In the years to follow Hasselblad made six other cameras intended for use in space that are still wandering far far away from the Earth. The 12 Hasselblad EDC cameras were left on the Moon as only the films were allowed to be brought back to the Earth.

And though there are quite a few opinion pieces on the web arguing this theory, we are not really into political debates and solving geo disputes here. We simply prefer enjoying good—and maybe a bit bizarre—portrait photography.

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