The Hasselblad Camera is one of the many cool gadgets that astronauts get to play around with. This one is currently being auctioned on eBay; proving once again that you can buy just about anything on eBay.
The Hasselblad was originally created for NASA by a Swedish company of the same name – a company that has been producing cameras since around WWII. The camera became famous during the Apollo space program and the first Moon landing. Rest assured that most of the pictures you see of the Moon landing were probably taken by a Hasselblad, like the one pictured here.
The series of Hasselblad cameras used by NASA were specially modified in order to operate in space (who knows exactly what that means? Most likely, it has to do with weightless environments, atmosphere, durability, and so forth), and featured interchangeable magazines and lenses. The mental image of an astronaut trying to focus through a viewfinder, while wearing one of those fishbowl helmets, makes me giggle.
There doesn’t seem to be any way to verify whether this specific camera ever logged any flight hours, but an enterprising individual could probably track down serial numbers and that sort of thing. My guess is that this camera is similar to the ones taken into space. According to a recent Internet search, there were several different models that were used during the space Apollo and Space Shuttle programs.
The price tag for this specially modified Hasselblad is over $35,000 – about the same price of a brand new car. Not bad, considering this is “essentially” a piece of history, even if it never saw flight time. Since this camera is bright yellow and boxy, it does have its own strange appeal. When it comes down to it, I do wonder why this camera isn’t on display in a museum somewhere, and how exactly the owner came with the camera. (NASA garage sale?)