As Space Shuttle Atlantis left the International Space Station to head back to Earth for the final time, one of the astronauts on the ISS captured this beautiful image of the shuttle’s glowing re-entry. Any guesses for what shutter speed this was shot at?
Between 1969 and 1972, NASA left 12 Hasselblad cameras on the moon to make room for moon rocks. One camera that wasn’t left there was a 16mm camera called the “Data Acquisition Camera” used during the Apollo 14 mission in 1971. It’s now in the center of a legal dispute between the US government and astronaut Edgar Mitchell, the sixth person to set foot on the moon. Mitchell claims that NASA allowed him to keep the camera as a souvenir after the mission, while NASA says that no evidence of this transfer ever took place. The camera was slated to be auctioned for an estimated $60,000-$80,000, but now NASA is suing Mitchell to get the camera back. The lawsuit states,
All equipment and property used during NASA operations remains the property of NASA unless explicitly released or transferred to another party.
Looks like those Hasselblads on the moon aren’t free for the taking after all. Shucks.
Last week we shared about how astronauts left some Nikon DSLR gear to burn up in the atmosphere instead of having it brought back to Earth, but it certainly wasn’t the first time cameras were left in space. Did you know that there are 12 Hasselblad cameras currently sitting on the surface of the moon? The cameras that shot those iconic images of the moon’s surface between 1969 and 1972 were left there to allow for the 25kg of lunar rock samples that were brought back instead. Only the film magazines were brought back.
Here’s a photograph we’ve all taken… only in our bathroom mirror. NASA astronaut Michael Fincke shot this photograph with what looks like one of the Nikon DSLRs on board using a reflective-portion of the International Space Station. This means he shot a self-portrait roughly 200 miles above the ground while zipping around the planet at 17,000 mph.
NASA has a long history of using Hasselblad cameras in space and, interestingly enough, you can download the Astronaut’s Photography Manual used to train astronauts from Hasselblad’s website. It covers everything from operating the Hasselblad 500EL/M to composition, using situations unique to astronauts in its examples and illustrations.
Who knows — perhaps if space tourism starts taking off you might soon find this manual invaluable!
Most of you probably know the astronauts on the ISS use a lot of Nikon gear for their photography. The video above shows American astronaut Jeff Williams use one of the cameras onboard as an accelerometer during a reboost, through which the ISS maintains its orbit. It’s pretty neat seeing the camera floating around.
For the past two weeks, Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi has been beaming down photographs of Earth from the International Space Station using his TwitPic account. The photographs, taken with a Nikon D2Xs, show various cities and landmarks around the world as the ISS flies roughly 200 miles overhead at an average of 17,227 mph.
Golden Gate Bridge, San Fransisco, CA. Beautiful shadow :-)
Flew over Port_Au_Prince of Haiti this afternoon. Our thoughts and prayers to Haiti people, from ISS.
Mount Fuji, Japan. 3,776m. The highest mountain in Japan.
Moscow, Russia. Star City is far back on the right upper corner. #spacetweet
KSC, Florida. Space Shuttle Endeavour STS-130 is ready to launch on Sunday!!!
For more of this amazing photography, check out his Twitter or Twitpic page.