Mankind’s first true foray in space

The russians?

The americans?

Neither…

The germans.

I have become aware in the last couple of years of pictures taken from cameras mounted atop modified V2 missiles fired by scientists in the New Mexico desert in the late 1940s. It blew my mind that these had not been more widely broadcast because it is obvious they were proofs that man-made objects had exited the Earth’s atmosphere for the first time in history and were, by current standards, travelling into space even though it was just a parabolic trajectory.

However, germans fired several V2s well past the recognized boundary of space. This happened for the first time on October 3, 1942 when a V2 reached an altitude of 60 miles. The germans later achieved a suborbital flight in early 1944 when a V2 reached an altitude of 189 kilometers. Unsubstantiated reports of manned sub-orbital spaceflights are even more mindboggling…

A V-2 launch from White Sands.

A V-2 launch from White Sands.

View of Earth from a camera on V-2 #13, launched October 24, 1946.

View of Earth from a camera on V-2 #13, launched October 24, 1946.

V-2 #21, launched on March 7, 1947, took this picture from 101 miles up. The dark area at the upper left is the Gulf of California.

V-2 #21, launched on March 7, 1947, took this picture from 101 miles up. The dark area at the upper left is the Gulf of California.

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