Project Mercury astronaut Walter Schirra actually owned a Hasselblad 500C and suggested that NASA and Hasselblad work together to document the missions to space. To prepare the cameras for the journey, Hasselblad had to remove a number of elements to reduce the overall weight of the camera, including the leather covering, auxiliary shutter, reflex mirror, and the viewfinder. The custom film magazine held enough film for 70 frames instead of the normal 12. The cameras were then painted matte black to minimize reflections from the window of the orbiter. The camera first accompanied astronauts into space on Mercury 8 in October 1962.