On Oct. 24, 1946, the first extraterrestrial view of Earth was shot from 65 miles away aboard a Nazi-built V-2 rocket launched by American scientists, according to Smithsonian magazine. Thanks to a Devry 35-millimeter movie camera, Earthlings saw their planet for the first time as a grainy, black-and-white mass that looked more like paint under a microscope than humanity’s home for at least the last 200,000 years.
The grainy, black-and-white photos were taken from an altitude of 65 miles by a 35-millimeter motion picture camera riding on a V-2 missile launched from the White Sands Missile Range. Snapping a new frame every second and a half, the rocket-borne camera climbed straight up, then fell back to Earth minutes later, slamming into the ground at 500 feet per second. The camera itself was smashed, but the film, protected in a steel cassette, was unharmed.