Neil Armstrong and Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin, the first two men on the Moon, used a camera of this type on 20 and 21 July 1969 to record on film their epic first steps on Earth's satellite. The photographs of the first footprints in the Moon dust and of the astronauts in their white spacesuits in front of the gleaming silver and gold landing probes have become icons of contemporary history. They have been printed many billions of times in newspapers, magazines and books. The close-ups of a neighbour that until then had been quite unknown to us and the pictures of the Earth shimmering like a blue jewel in the nothingness of space above the horizon of the Moon: these photographss changed our view of the world.
The twelve astronauts on the six Apollo Moon missions brought thousands of razor sharp pictures of a 'new world' into our living rooms. The photographs were taken with a dozen of the legendary Swedish Hasselblad cameras and their Zeiss lenses from the Swabian company Oberkochen. The Hasselblad EL with the 60-millimetre Biogon lens, which was modified only slightly from the commercially available model, was attached in front of the astronaut’s chest and the shutter could be released using a pistol grip. The several thousand six by six centimetre pictures taken by the hand-held cameras were also of inestimable scientific value for the investigation of the Moon. For weight reasons, only the film cartridges were taken back to Earth. The twelve camera housings remain on the Moon awaiting their archaeological rediscovery.