Camera, Leica, 35mm, Glenn, Friendship 7

With this camera, a Leica Ig model, astronaut John H. Glenn, Jr., took the first human-shot, color still photographs of the Earth during his three-orbit mission on February 20, 1962. (Soviet cosmonaut Gherman Titov had made pioneering movie footage during his one-day flight in August 1961.) Glenn's pictures paved the way for future Earth photography experiments on American human spaceflight missions.

Because Glenn was wearing a spacesuit helmet and could not get his eye close to a built-in viewfinder, NASA selected a this high-quality camera that allowed them to attach a customized sight on top. Glenn found the camera easy to use, in part because he could exploit zero-gravity's advantages. "When I needed both hands, I just let go of the camera and it floated there in front of me," he said in his later memoir.

NASA transferred this camera to the Smithsonian in 1963 with a group of Glenn artifacts.

Transferred from NASA

Country of Origin
Germany
United States of America

Manufacturer
Leica

Location
National Air and Space Museum, Washington, DC
Exhibition
Apollo to the Moon

Type
EQUIPMENT-Photographic

Materials
Metal, glass, plastic, velcro
Dimensions
3-D: 14 x 13.3 x 16.5cm (5 1/2 x 5 1/4 x 6 1/2 in.)
3-D (Lens): 9.5 x 5.1cm (3 3/4 x 2 in.)

With this camera, a Leica Ig model, astronaut John H. Glenn, Jr., took the first human-shot, color still photographs of the Earth during his three-orbit mission on February 20, 1962. (Soviet cosmonaut Gherman Titov had made pioneering movie footage during his one-day flight in August 1961.) Glenn's pictures paved the way for future Earth photography experiments on American human spaceflight missions.

Because Glenn was wearing a spacesuit helmet and could not get his eye close to a built-in viewfinder, NASA selected a this high-quality camera that allowed them to attach a customized sight on top. Glenn found the camera easy to use, in part because he could exploit zero-gravity's advantages. "When I needed both hands, I just let go of the camera and it floated there in front of me," he said in his later memoir.

NASA transferred this camera to the Smithsonian in 1963 with a group of Glenn artifacts.

Transferred from NASA

Country of Origin
Germany
United States of America

Manufacturer
Leica

Location
National Air and Space Museum, Washington, DC
Exhibition
Apollo to the Moon

Type
EQUIPMENT-Photographic

Materials
Metal, glass, plastic, velcro
Dimensions
3-D: 14 x 13.3 x 16.5cm (5 1/2 x 5 1/4 x 6 1/2 in.)
3-D (Lens): 9.5 x 5.1cm (3 3/4 x 2 in.)

ID: A19670197000