This is the next installment of reports on Leica cameras used by NASA.
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. Glenn's pictures paved the way for future Earth photography experiments on American human spaceflight missions.
Because Glenn was wearing a spacesuit, complete with helmet during his February 20, 1962 mission, he could not get his eye close to a built-in viewfinder. Therefore NASA selected the high-quality Leica Ig camera that allowed them to attach a customized viewfinder on top. This special attachment featured a suction cup on the back side to allow Glenn to easily place the device against the visor when he was required to keep it down. The viewfinder was removable when Glenn did not need his visor down, and a velcro strip on the rounded top let him manage its location inside the spacecraft. Glenn found the camera easy to use, in part because he could exploit the advantages ofzero-gravity.
"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.
The 1957 Leica Ig was the last Leica screwmount model made, with production ending in 1963. It was the successor to the If and is the only screwmount camera with the word 'Leica' engraved on the front of the camera. This camera had the same profile as the IIIg but without the viewfinder/rangefinder incorporated into the top. As with both the Ic and If there were two accessory shoes mounted for attaching a separate viewfinder and rangefinder. The rewind knob was partially recessed into the top plate. As with the Ic and the If, the Ig was intended for scientific or Visoflex use.
For more information on the Leica Ig, go to:
LEICA Ig REPRO
For more info on the Leica-NASA connection got to:
LEICA WITH SPECTOGRAPH USED BY NASA
LEICA M3 ON ENDEAVOUR SHUTTLE MISSION
LUNAR LEICA – UPDATE WITH PICTURES
SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST