Einar Askestad, text
Anita Malmqvist, editing
Maria Lantz 2015
On July 20, 1969 the Apollo 11 Lunar Module the Eagle”, landed in the Tranquility Sea on the moon. Soon after, man took the first steps on our nearest space neighbor. Along with the astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin two Hasselblad cameras were brought. They immortalized the landing and the first human footprint on the moon.
The Hasselblad camera inventor Victor Hasselblad and his wife Erna got personal gifts from all the Apollo crews, thanks to the cooperation around the moon camera. After each manned Apollo flight one or more items that had been to the moon, were sent to Erna and Victor Hasselblad in
Gothenburg, Sweden. First, the astronauts had commissioned a number of coins they took on the trip, the so-called Robbins medallions. When the Apollo rocket returned to earth was marked data on ascent and landing onto the coin and then sent one of them to Hasselblad in Sweden. Passengers on Apollo 7, Apollo 8, Apollo 11, Apollo 13 and Apollo 17 sent a Robbins Medallion for Hasselblad from each trip. But the other six manned Apollo rockets had brought small golden charms commissioned by the Hasselblad couple and designed by the jeweler Cesons. In all, six jewelry pieces in 18 karate gold were produced. The crews of Apollo 9, 10, 12, 14, 15 and 16 were entrusted to secretly carry these objects with them and after a successful trip to the moon return the pieces to Gothenburg and the couple Hasselblad.
Stuart Roosa, command module pilot on Apollo 14, writes in the letter that came with the little gold camera to Victor Hasselblad following:
This beautiful camera pin was flown to the moon on the Apollo 14 mission. The mission was Launched January 31, 1971 and Returned February 9, 1971, having successfully completed a landing in the Fra Mauro region of the moon On February 5, 1971. This pin traveled 1,151,086 miles During The 216 hours, 1 minute and 58.1 seconds of flights. I was most happy to carry this pin for you and sincerely hope we can visit again soon. Sincerely,
Lt. Colonel, USAF, Command Module Pilot, Apollo 14 "
In 1972 the last Apollo spacecraft Apollo 17, returned from man's very last visit to the moon. Shortly after, Victor and Erna commissioned the goldsmith Cesons in Gothenburg to produce a bracelet with all the charms and Robbins medallions. "
The Moon Bracelet is a strange object: too heavy to wear as jewelry, fairly ugly in all its features, but still valuable. Obviously because of the precious metals and stones; gold and diamonds. But even more so due to the fact that the charms really have been on the moon. The notion of “them being there" touches us. Our magical thinking gets started. The Aura of the object is there.
How did the idea to smuggle things aboard the Apollo expeditions come up? What similarities does the charms have with the photographs? The "being there" – as a proof found in the photograph - and the proof in the shape of a relic.
In the story of the moon bracelet, the overall question: “What did we go to the moon for?” occur. In relation to “Why did we do it?” it is interesting to elaborate on who is a hero, who is an operator, who, in modern life, is being used by whom - and what, by the end of the day, really gives meaning to our lives.