NASA Hasselblad for sale

EBay seller Photo-arsenal-worldwide is flogging this mint-in-package NASA Hasselblad camera; bidding now stands at nearly $34,000. I love how everything in space looks like it was descended from a Tonka truck.

Hasselblad MKWE Kit brand new made for NASA (via Dinosaurs and Robots)



  1. I know this is a minor point, but I don’t think there’s actual bidding happening on that camera, only a “buy it now”, right? As I type this the buy-it-now price is $33,751.00, which is an oddly specific number, so maybe that “make offer” button is in fact changing that number?

    1. As far as I know, and I’ve sold a lot of stuff on eBay, the Buy It Now doesn’t fluctuate. The seller may be seeing lower bids and adjusting, but I don’t think the Buy It Now price varies. It is a strangely uneven price though.

  2. I call BS on the “made for NASA” claim. The MKWE is a special model for photogrammetry, but there’s nothing NASA-specific about it. Show me the provenance.

    1. Yeah right at the end of Apollo 16 the plan was for John Young to leave a camera on the rover with the lens cap off and the lens facing straight up. The idea was that the glass surface could be used to estimate micrometeorite impact rates when the camera was retrieved in the future.

      The problem is that John can’t remember actually putting the camera in that position. I have the same problem with my garage door. Did I actually put it down? I should have but I can’t remember.

      Actually I believe anything not needed for the flight back got chucked before lift off. And that would have included most of the cameras.

  3. Ditto on the doubts about the “made for NASA” claim, unless you count pens and pencils with a NASA logo made to use in a NASA office somewhere equally as “made for NASA”…
    This is not a “spaceworthy” or “spaceproofed” piece of hardware, it’s simply a photogrammetry camera from Hasselblads respective series. (It has a reseau plate for photogrammetry just like the Hasselblads used on the moon during Apollo had them, but that doesn’t make this example one of those.)
    It’s up for sale, not for auction, and to be honest the price is a hoot. It doesn’t seem to be selling either – if you check around a bit, you will find this particular piece on ebay mentioned in photography forums way over a year ago.

  4. It was my understanding that the first Hassleblad used in space was a standard model; it was the private property of the astronaut. And it worked fine.

    If that’s true, the “specialness” of this item is questionable.

  5. I wonder if whoever might have bid on this camera had enough gumption to go to Hasselblad’s website, eh? Or to google “hasselblad nasa”? And make the effort to click on the first link provided…

    I did have some tip-offs before I googled: The colour (I remembered them as matte black or silver), the fact that the film magazine in the for-sale ad wasn’t a 500-exposure back, the “can’t be operated with thick gloves” shutter release, etc, etc…

    See here, too:

    1. Be sure to check out the PDF of the 1984 astronaut’s camera manual. Really great stuff in there – interesting details of operating the cameras, and very well written stuff about exposure, composition, and so forth. A great read. The rest of the Hasselblad site regarding their cameras in space is interesting too, but not very well written in my opinion. That page with all the space cameras is very cool, though.

      All of the actual space cameras look way, way cooler than this yellow one. This one has its charms, but lacks the flavor that comes from actually being highly functional for specific tasks like the real ones.

  6. As soon as I saw the yellow I was disappointed. Those old 500 models were sweet, I love my 500E/LM and think of the Apollo astronauts and their striped down 500c every time I dig mine out.

  7. In an earlier life, I worked with an Mk70 that was reported to be made to NASA specs. It didn’t look as flashy as this unit, but tt had a calibrated reseau plate and an excellent remote control interface. The problem was that it used unperforated 70mm film that was impossible to find.

  8. My husband is a photographer who also loves astronomy. I had better go and check to make sure he didn’t drool all over the iPad when he checked BoingBoing this morning.

    That thing really does look sexy.

  9. Calling bullshit.

    If you do a Google image search for “NASA Hasselblad” you get a ton of great photos of great cameras. But not this one. (The exception is the occasional link to the ebay photo making fun of it.)

  10. Even if that is a “made for NASA” camera, so what?
    You can go on the interwebs and buy an Omega Speedmaster Professional (the manual wind model). That’s something that was REALLY made for NASA. And anyone can have one. I do, mine was made in 1974. :)

  11. Love the color. Look at that camera. Just look at it. Not only is it awesome, you can operate it without fingernails.

  12. The story may be nonsense, but you have to admit that’s a pornigraphically beautiful piece of equipment.

    Or maybe I’ve got problems of my own.


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