The only camera to go to the moon and back has recently gone under the hammer at Galerie Westlicht in Vienna and was given to the highest bid of €660,000 (US$910,000) to one Terukazu Fujisawa, the president of Japanese electronics chain Yodobashi Camera.

Fujisawa’s new camera is a Hasselblad 500 and went on the Apollo 15 mission in 1971. They were selected because of the ease with which lenses and film could be changed by the astronauts in their space suits and the harsh landscape of the lunar surface. Although several cameras were taken to the moon, this was the only one that made it back as all others were abandoned on the moon to save weight.

Some American readers of this news were a little upset that a Japanese businessman bought up another piece of American history (the other most recent acquisition being Colonel Sanders’ suit).  Others who weren’t trapped in the 80s were puzzled as to who owned the camera previously as such an artifact would seem to belong somewhere like the Smithsonian and NASA is generally very protective about what comes back from their missions. This led to the age-old theory that the moon landings were all elaborate hoaxes.

The auctioneers originally expected the camera to sell for €300,000 ($414,000), but the camera unexpectedly sold for over double the projected amount. It remains to be seen what Mr. Fujisawa intends to do with his new purchase. Judging by his line of work he’ll probably keep it in his own private collection, but perhaps he will put it on display at a Yodobashi Camera shop somewhere in Japan.

Source: Yahoo! News (English) via Gizmodo (Japanese)
Image: Wikipedia – NASA