Cameras in Space

Who shot the photos when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon?Are there dedicated photographers on such missions? Also, how did the camera work in space?

Armstrong, himself, along with co-astronaut Buzz Aldrin, has photographed the iconic images of the moon that we see today. A regular camera will not work in the vacuum of space, which is why, NASA asks companies like Hasselblad and Nikon to modify their cameras for use in space. During the Apollo 11 moon mission, the Hasselblad 500EL was modified into the Hasselblad Electric Data Camera. Special thin film was designed by Kodak while Carl Zeiss made a 60mm f/5.6 lens.

Armstrong and Aldrin shot as many as 122 photos during the visit. The images are not all perfect—some of them show accidental presses focusing errors, flare, light leaks and so on. To shoot the live video footage that all of us have seen, NASA attached a camera to an extended arm on the landing craft. This camera was operated from within the craft and capture Armstrong’s first steps, live.

Ironically, after removing the film, the astronauts actually left their Hasselblad EDC cameras on the surface of the moon to lighten their load for the return mission!

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