Oct 292012

The Earth was pictured for the first time from space in 1946 when U.S. launched the Nazi rocket V-2

The first photograph ever snapped from space was carried out by the U.S. military shortly after the end of the World War II using a rocket built by the Nazi (scroll down for video).

The pixelated spatial picture that you can see alongside, was taken on 24 October 1946, just 14 months after the end of WWII and about 11 years ahead the launch of Sputnik. The image was captured by U.S. military engineers who used a german rocket V-2 launched from the White Sands Missile Range, in New Mexico, USA.

V2 rockets were built by Wernher Magnus Maximilian, Freiherr von Braun, a German scientist who joined the Americans to continue his research on the V-2 missiles after the end of the Second World War.

Von Braun aspired at spacecrafts and focused on building a proper rocket for their propulsion, therefore he joined the Allgemeine SS and the Nazi Party. Then he claimed funding and labor force from Hitler to develop the V-2 combat rocket which proved to be terribly efficient in… bombing London. The main purpose for Von Braun’s V2 was space exploration, and sometimes the brilliant scientist ended-up in disappointment saying: “The rocket worked perfectly except for landing on the wrong planet.” Others even mocked at him using the following paraphrase: “I aim at the stars, but sometimes I hit London”

This sequence of photos was taken from German rocket V-2 launched in 1948 by the U.S.

After the Nazi surrendered, the Americans confiscated their rockets and shipped them to the U.S. Under Von Braun’s guidance, the Americans sent the V-2s into space in order to carry out various scientific/military tests. Engineer Clyde Holliday equipped one of the rockets with a camera which was able to take pictures every second and a half.

These pictures was made public for the first time in 1950 by the National Geographic. Clyde Holliday stated: that’s “how our Earth would look to visitors from another planet coming in on a space ship.”

After years, V-2 cemented the fundamentals of Saturn V Rocket and American Space Program. Von Braun became one of the founding fathers of NASA. Presiding from July 1960 to February 1970, he was chosen the center’s first Director.

Video: WWII: Nazi Rocket V-2 Launch Facility



 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>