First Rocket Reaches Space

First Rocket Reaches Space
Germans design and test the V-2 rocket as a World War II "vengeance weapon".

The German V-2 rocket, then known as the A-4, was the first rocket to cross the Karman line, thus officially reaching outer space. The rocket platform was originally conceived as a "vengeance weapon" by Nazi scientists at the insistence of Adolf Hitler, who demanded a weapon that could reach Allied cities in Europe from German soil. The rocket development program was spearheaded by Wernher von Braun, the Nazi SS officer who later defected and led American rocket development efforts in the mid-20th century.

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