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On This Day



On This Day… The First Rocket Reaches Space

Written by: George Chittenden : 03 Oct 2019

It was on this day, 3rd Oct, back in 1942 when mankind launched an object that reached space for the very first time. That object was a 2-ton liquid-propelled V-2 rocket that was launched from Peenemünde, an island off Germany's Baltic coast. The rocket that travelled 118 miles was designed by scientist Wernher von Braun.

The launch

The launch

On the one hand the rocket led to huge advances in the space race, and following the end of the war the American, Soviet, and British governments all gained access to the V-2's technical designs. It was this knowledge and access to the scientists responsible for creating the rockets that helped both the Americans and the Soviets during the space race, so it helped humanity in scientific terms.

Rocket designer Wernher von Braun

Rocket designer Wernher von Braun

However, on the other hand, that technology was used for a dark reason, and over 3000 were launched at Allied targets towards the end of the war. The V2 was the world's first long-range combat-ballistic missile. Interestingly Hitler wasn’t keen on them, and thought they were just long-range artillery shells that gobbled up tremendous Nazi resources.

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