You need to upgrade your Flash Player The theme of this blog is not only and obviously space, but in particular “terrestrial worlds”, places that tend to have surfaces on which one could walk or at least attach oneself to. These places sometimes also have other earth-like familiar features such as atmospheres, weather, volcanos, geysers and perhaps, we are finding, even exotic oceans, rivers or lakes that are not necessarily made of familiar materials we are used to here at home. The second theme is imagery. Occasionally I do some retouching of images when needed if an image is incomplete or sometimes “dirty” or noisy. I will attempt to correct image shortcomings based upon other images or well-accepted presumed attributes. When this is done, notes will be offered as to what was added, why and sometimes how it was done. This way no one should ever wonder if something they are looking at is real or photoshop.

First Image From Space

Contrary to popular belief, the first man-made object to enter space was not Sputnik. An amazing factoid considering that the space race was a major battleground in the Cold-War between the Soviets and America. Oddly, very little information about these first rockets into space can be found almost anywhere. One of the best references is this article from Air & Space magazine’s web site. The article is centers around the fact that, in addition to being one of the first man-made objects in space (the first was actually German!), the V2s also returned the first images of Earth from space.

On October 24, 1946, a V2 rocket was blasted off from White Sands Missile Range and climbed about 65 miles straight up. There it began snapping images until minutes later it fell back to Earth with no parachutes. The cannister containing the camera was smashed, but luckily the film itself was unharmed and was later developed revealing to us Earthlings a glimpse of our own world from higher up than we had ever seen before.

First Image of Earth

While the above image is fascinating enough… that image was shot on V2 #13 and later experiments also took cameras along for the ride. Considering how long ago these were taken, another image from V2 #21 taken in 1947 is even more impressive in its detail and clarity.

Another Early V2 Earth Image

9 Responses to “First Image From Space”

  1. Gordan Says:

    Not to be downplaying the U.S. achievements, but getting something into orbit is much more difficult than simply lofting it into space for a few minutes :D

    Sputnik rulez!

  2. thomas Says:

    true… but if it was so easy then why didn’t they do it first… hmmmm?

  3. Gordan Says:

    The U.S. may well be the first to have done those kinds of experiments, but they were probably not the only one. Just the most well documented. If I recall, the Soviets were also launching modified V2s high up, I kind of remember seeing some footage similar to the U.S. experiments. Maybe the Russians were busy building the R7 ICBM, who knows?

  4. thomas Says:

    well, for that matter… who knows… maybe the chinese had something up there in 500 BC. they did try strapping that king or prince up to that rocket chair hundreds of years ago.

  5. thomas Says:

    thinking about it further… perhaps that is why the article made so much of it being the “first image”. perhaps it is too difficult to know who exactly broke that boundary and perhaps where exactly that boundary is.

  6. Gordan Says:

    The problem as you realize is there really is no boundary over which you step over and then you’re officially into space. You could say that even stratospheric balloons (what was it, 50 km altitude?) are essentially in space. You must have seen those pictures, the sky is practically pitch black even that high. 65 miles up can be called effective vacuum and official space, true. You just couldn’t have a stable orbit up at that height.

  7. thomas Says:

    truly… that Air & Sapce museum article mentions 100K being the standard by which most agree is the region. but yeah… its a gradual thing.

  8. feisar Says:

    I repeat it again, the Germans were the first in space, they even took photos when they launched the first V2 rockets into the Stratosphere and beyond…

  9. thomas Says:

    I see, i added that fact… but really it only implies the first images from space. The Germans only photographed the rockets taking off as far as I can tell. Also, the Air & Space Museum also claims these to be the first space images so I would be shocked if they got that wrong.

    I deleted my silly American vs. Soviet scorecard ending as it really misrepresented the full picture.

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