On this day 75 years ago the first V-2 missile was fired successfully from Peenemunde, heralding the start of space travel.
German scientists, led by von Braun, had been working on the development of these long-range missiles since the 1930s.
Three trial launches had already failed; the fourth in the series, known as A-4, finally saw the V-2, a 12-ton rocket capable of carrying a one-ton warhead, successfully launched.
Test Stand VII was the principal V-2 rocket testing facility at Peenemünde Airfield and was capable of static firing of rocket motors up to 200 tons thrust.
Two test launches were recovered by the Allies: the Bäckebo rocket, the remnants of which landed in Sweden on 13 June 1944 and one recovered by the Polish resistance on 30 May 1944 from Blizna and transported to the UK during Operation Most III. The highest altitude reached during the war was 174.6 kilometres (108.5 miles) (20 June 1944).Test launches of V-2 rockets were…
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