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NASA camera to go on sale in Vienna

Camera used on the moon goes on sale in Austria

The only one of the 14 hand-held cameras that were sent to the moon on NASA missions which then came back again has been put up for sale in Austria.

The Westlicht Gallery in Vienna says the camera, that was used on the Apollo 15 mission in 1971, will fetch between 150,000 and 200,000 Euros.

Astronaut James B. Irwin took 229 photos on the Hasselblad "Lunar Module Pilot" which is being sold by an Italian collector. The auction takes place on March 22nd.

NASA sent 14 cameras to the moon as part of NASA Apollo missions in the 1970's, but the one being auctioned is the only one which returned to earth, the gallery said.

The others were left on the moon for the simple reason that it was essential to be as light as possible when heading back to earth. Any non essential items were simply dumped, and only the film magazines were brought back.

This camera was the exception, as engineers wanted to see how it's use in outer space had changed the camera.

The Hasselblad 500 'EL DATA CAMERA HEDC' that is on sale was from the first generation of NASA motor-driven cameras designed for the Lunar missions.

It was silver painted, with raeseau plate and matching body number '38' that was then imprint on any images.

The control tabs were designed for use with space gloves and the body is engraved: NASA no.P/N SEB 33100040- S/N 1038.

Hasselblad cameras have played an integral part in the Space program, with a range of special modifications and improvements required to meet the demands of space travel.

The first lunar pictures were taken on 20 July 1969 by Neil Armstrong.

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