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Spacefaring Hasselblad camera up for bid (pictures)

A very special camera made its way into orbit in 1962 on a NASA mission. Now, it can be a part of your personal space collection if you're fortunate enough to be the winning bidder.

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Amanda Kooser
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1 of 8 RR Auction

Zeiss, Hasselblad and film magazine

A rare piece of space history goes up for auction on November 13 through RR Auction. The lot includes a Zeiss lens, the first Hasselblad camera used in space and a matching film magazine flown on a Mercury mission.

The Hasselblad 500c was used by astronaut Wally Schirra on the Mercury-Atlas 8 mission, during which it captured beautiful images of the planet below.

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2 of 8 NASA/RR Auction

Astronaut wields the camera

This vintage image shows NASA astronaut Wally Schirra holding a Hasselblad camera that will soon go up for auction. The camera's provenance was extensively researched by auction company RR Auction, which matched identifying marks from vintage NASA photos to the camera.

The camera made history by being the first Hasselblad used in space. Schirra originally purchased the camera from a shop in Houston.

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3 of 8 RR Auction

This side towards lens

Back before NASA cameras were specially crafted by teams of experts, the cameras used in missions were bought off the shelf and then modified for space use. This Hasselblad few on the Mercury-Atlas 8 mission. It was modified with a special film container, an aiming device and black paint on the facing to reduce reflections. The space-flown camera goes up for auction soon.

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4 of 8 RR Auction

Zeiss lens went into space

This Zeiss lens flew into orbit on NASA's Mercury-Atlas 8 mission in 1962. It was used with a Hasselblad 500c to capture images of Earth's terrain and weather. The lens is part of a unique auction lot containing camera equipment used for NASA's early manned space missions. The serial number on this lens was matched to vintage NASA photographs.

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5 of 8 Wally Schirra/NASA

Hasselblad photo from space

The first Hasselblad camera to be used in space achieved that designation in 1962 aboard NASA's Mercury-Atlas 8 mission. Astronaut Wally Schirra took this photo using the camera. It shows cloud patterns as seen from orbit. This is one of many impressive photos taken by Hasselblad cameras in the early years of manned space flight. The camera is heading to the auction block through RR Auction on November 13.

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6 of 8 Wally Schirra/NASA

Mercury mission looks down

Astronaut Wally Schirra captured this photo during a Mercury mission in 1962. The Hasselblad camera used to take the image is going up for auction soon. Schirra purchased the camera at a Houston store, helped to modify it for the mission and took it into space in order to gather images of Earth's weather and terrain.

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7 of 8 Gordon Cooper/NASA

Earth as seen by the Hasselblad

This image of Tibet was captured by astronaut Gordon Cooper as he flew on NASA's Mercury-Atlas 9 mission. A lens and film magazine used to help take this photograph are going up for auction as part of lot that includes a Hasselblad camera flown on Mercury-Atlas 8.

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8 of 8 Hasselblad

Hasselblad ad touts space experience

After first flying on the NASA Mercury-Atlas 8 mission, Hasselblad cameras went along on many more manned journeys in space. The camera company created marketing materials trumpeting this experience. This ad shows a rocket alongside a Hasselblad and lists a series of Mercury and Gemini missions the company's products traveled on.

The first Hasselblad used in space goes up for auction through RR Auction on November 13.

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