24 October 1946 - V2 Rocket Takes First Photo of Earth From Space

first image of Earth from space take from a v2 rocket
This was the first image of Earth from space

On October 24, 1946, over a year after the end of World War 2 a German V2 rocket launched from the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

The V2 rocket was developed by the Nazis but a bunch of them were seized and transported to the US along with the top rockets scientists like Wernher von Braun.

While continuing the development of missile designs, they launched the V2 rockets into space for further testing.

On one of these launches Clyde Holliday, one of the engineers on the project, created a 35 millimeter camera that took a picture every 1.5 seconds.

First image of Earth

This picture was really the first image of Earth taken from space. It shows the curve of the globe.

It was taken at 65 miles (or 105 km) altitude. Afterwards, the rocket fell straight back to Earth and crashed into the desert at a speed of 548 km/h or 341mph. The rocket and camera were smashed but the film survived because it was encased by a steel cassette.

The pictures weren't released until 1950. They were then published in National Geographic. Holliday, the one responsible for mounting the camera on the rocket knew the importance of the visual. He was quoted saying the picture showed "how our Earth would look to visitors from another planet coming in on a space ship."

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