A Day in Astronomy: Motion Pictures of Earth

Image (Credit): Launch of a German V-2 rocket in 1943. (http://www.historyanswers.co.uk/)

On this day in 1946, we saw the Earth from space for the first time in history, and the sub-orbital motion pictures were captured by a V-2 rocket, a deadly German weapon that was finally put to good use. The U.S. launched the missile from the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The rocket went as high as 65 miles, providing the best view of Earth up to that point. You can watch a short film on YouTube about the space trip here.

If you want learn more about the man who created the V-2 rocket for the Nazis, Wernher von Braun, then I recommend you check out Moonrise, a podcast I highlighted in an earlier post

While the V-2 was a useful step into the space age, it was less useful as a weapon to the Germans. More people died making the rocket than died as a result of being a target of it. But today, the V-2 is both the source of space exploration as well as intercontinental ballistic missiles that could end humanity once and for all.