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Moon NASA

The Mystery of the 'Only Camera To Come Back From the Moon' 54

Posted by Soulskill
from the camera-moon-colonization-project-flourishing dept.
Daniel_Stuckey writes: "After a furious bidding war in Vienna on Saturday, a Japanese camera collector has bought a Hasselblad camera for $910,000 in a record-setting auction of what's been widely called the 'only camera to come back from the moon.' But contrary to claims repeated across the Internet on Monday, this isn't the only camera to come back from the moon. In fact, some think it may have never landed on the moon at all. And because of rules surrounding most NASA property, its sale may actually violate U.S. law. One thing we know: the 70mm Hasselblad 500 is one of fourteen cutting-edge cameras that astronauts used in orbit around the moon and on the lunar surface during the Apollo program. All of the images we have from those moon missions were taken by these machines, which were either mounted inside the command module that circled the moon or were attached to space suits at the chest. This particular camera was, reports the Verge, among many other sources, 'used on the moon during the Apollo 15 mission in 1971,' and 'is special in the fact that it's returned to Earth.' That's because astronauts were often instructed to jettison their cameras on the lunar surface in order to save precious kilograms during the return trip."
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The Mystery of the 'Only Camera To Come Back From the Moon'

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  • by TheRealQuestor (1750940) on Tuesday March 25, 2014 @09:30PM (#46580709)
    They weren't jettisoned because of weight, they weren't allowed off the moon my the race of glass tower building aliens. This one was sneeked off
  • by hessian (467078) on Tuesday March 25, 2014 @09:30PM (#46580713) Homepage Journal

    Let's litter.

    • You are worried about cameras?

      There are on the moon. [youtube.com]

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Teancum (67324)

      Considering that astronauts literally left their shit all over the place [youtube.com], litter like a slightly used camera is no big deal at all. Dumping radioactive waste [wikipedia.org] on the Moon in the form of RTGs that are still pumping out energy even today should give extra brownie points. It should be pointed out that other countries [wikipedia.org] have also dumped trash on the Moon, not to mention other worlds in the Solar System too.

      • I love the subtext of this comment - assuming without thinking that the same environmentalism that will save the Earth somehow has any application whatsoever on other planets - particularly those with zero habitability or possibility of ever becoming so. This is what political extremism does to your brain, people.
        • by Teancum (67324)

          This is what political extremism does to your brain, people.

          Funny thing is, I agree with you. All I was merely pointing out is that there is a whole bunch of stuff up in space already, and if you are so paranoid about some astronaut leaving some camera on the Moon as somehow destroying nature, there is much more that you could show too that would really send the environmentalist activists into a real panic mode.

          Too many people ignorantly watch science fiction films and TV shows thinking that is real science, yet think real activities on the surface of the Moon neve

    • by FatdogHaiku (978357) on Wednesday March 26, 2014 @02:31AM (#46581933)

      Let's litter.

      Hey, someone has to think of the future space archaeologists!

    • by bkmoore (1910118)

      Let's litter.

      If someone dropped a vintage Hasselblad camera in my back yard and left, I wouldn't be one to complain.

  • _Only_ camera? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Nanoda (591299) on Tuesday March 25, 2014 @09:43PM (#46580833)

    Sure. 'cept of course the one on Surveyor 3 [wikipedia.org] that Apollo 12 brought back. The one that famously (but, I now see, apparently controversially) had viable bacteria [wikipedia.org] in it after 2.5 years on the moon.

  • by PPH (736903) on Tuesday March 25, 2014 @09:48PM (#46580871)

    ... with film?

    The selfies taken by the creatures from Apollo 18 [wikipedia.org] should be entertaining. But nothing more unusual than what you'd find on /b/.

  • by jcr (53032) <jcr.mac@com> on Tuesday March 25, 2014 @10:09PM (#46580989) Journal

    So, if someone went to the moon and retrieved the entire Apollo 11 descent stage, I wonder what collectors would fork over for that, whole or in pieces?

    -jcr

    • Any such attempt would be so expensive as to be practically impossible. However, even if it were done there would be no buyers. The Apollo artifacts left on the moon remain the property of NASA and by extension the US Government and no reputable collector, or at least none with the bankroll necessary to pay what the items would be worth if they were legitimately sold into private hands, deals in stolen property.
      • by Splab (574204)

        Team America - World Police.

      • by nospam007 (722110) *

        "The Apollo artifacts left on the moon remain the property of NASA and by extension the US Government "

        Or it could be considered an abandoned ship, so even without a letter of marque it could be considered a prize for the taker.

        • "The Apollo artifacts left on the moon remain the property of NASA and by extension the US Government "

          Or it could be considered an abandoned ship, so even without a letter of marque it could be considered a prize for the taker.

          First of all, a prize applies to the capture of vessels from an enemy during conflict, so it would not be applicable here. As for salvage, state owned vessels are exempt from ,maritime salvage conventions unless the state relinquishes its claim; which the US clearly has not. That exemption is why Spain was able to recover coins salvaged from a vessel that sank several centuries ago.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Or it could be considered an abandoned ship, so even without a letter of marque it could be considered a prize for the taker.

          We're whalers on the moon! Except, a spacecraft is not a seagoing vessel, and therefore it's not subject to maritime law. So WTF are you on about?

      • Expensive this year, and probably the next 20 or so, but sooner or later it will become viable, and the longer it takes the more valuable it becomes. And if you think there is no market for one of the greatest artifacts in human civilisation then you seem to have a very naive understanding of art collection.
      • by jcr (53032)

        The Apollo artifacts left on the moon remain the property of NASA

        Decades after they were abandoned? I don't think so.

        -jcr

  • by ghmh (73679)
    The way they wrote that, it makes it seem like astronauts are up there jettisoning their camera gear every other day.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Lumpy (12016)

      Actually yes, each camera had exactly 1 frame of film in it. you took a photo, pulled the back and threw the camera away. By the time we were ready for Apollow 18 they invented fitting more than 1 frame of film in a camera at NASA, this is why skylab was not riddled with discarded cameras.

      • by mholve (1101)

        Like all Hasselblad V cameras, the rear features a detachable magazine, which in turns holds the film; either 120 or 70mm. An internal darkslide allows you to change magazines mid-roll if you wanted to (say if switching from color to black and white film or for changing to a slower/faster ISO film).

  • Surely not people in a Non-US country doing business with people from another Non-US country.
    Stop pushing your broken morale on us!

  • by seven of five (578993) on Wednesday March 26, 2014 @07:43AM (#46583071) Homepage
    Back then, they took pictures with plastic film coated with a thin layer of silver-based chemicals [wikipedia.org]. No electronics at all. I kid you not.
    • by Lumpy (12016)

      BAH! nest thing you will tell us outlandish stories on how they did not have internet and could not post selfies or photos of what they were eating.

  • If it actually made it to the moon's surface (which I see is contested), I wonder if any of the notoriously insidious moon-dust still clings to or made it inside of the device. It might be worth a thorough disassembly and cleaning to see.
  • by Chelloveck (14643) on Wednesday March 26, 2014 @01:12PM (#46586051) Homepage
    So... What's mysterious here? Legally controversial, maybe. And poorly documented, thus potentially fraudulent. But something billed as "The Mystery of the 'Only Camera To Come Back From The Moon'" ought to involve conspiracy or spies or something, not just an incomplete chain of custody.

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them WHAT to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. -- Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.

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