First establishing a business relationship with NASA in January 1971, Nikon fulfilled a contract that put several modified Nikon Photomic FTN cameras aboard Apollo 15 which launched later that year. Since then, Nikon equipment has been on every manned space flight. In this time-lapse video by SmugMug Films, the connected history of Nikon and space exploration is observed as part of the company's 100 year anniversary celebration.
The special Nikon 100th anniversary website has all sorts of interesting information to read up on. In regards to the nine modified cameras made for NASA, Nikon needed to design them to withstand the extreme conditions of space and be able to capture the Earth's ozone layer and auroras. To do so, they added in special lubricating oil, high shock absorption, and made them a non-reflective matte black along with the 55mm f/1.2 lenses that were attached. Nikon had from January to June in 1971 to make the cameras and supply them to NASA for approval. The next month, on July 26, the three-man crew of Apollo 15 launched from Kennedy Space Center for a successful lunar landing.