First Photo From Space

Dennis Toseland

Posted on October 28 2015

This is pretty awesome!  This First Photo From Space was taken from a captured V-2 rocket that was launched by US scientists on October 24, 1946.  Before 1946, the highest pictures ever taken of the Earth’s surface were from the Explorer II balloon, which had ascended 13.7 miles in 1935, high enough to discern the curvature of the Earth. The V-2 cameras reached more than five times that altitude, where they clearly showed the planet set against the blackness of space. 

More than 1,000 Earth pictures were returned from V-2s between 1946 and 1950, from altitudes as high as 100 miles. The photos, showing huge expanses of the American southwest, appeared in newspapers and were scrutinized by scientists from the U.S. Weather Bureau. A few predictions as to where it all might lead: "Results of these tests now are pointing to a time when cameras may be mounted on guided missiles for scouting enemy territory in war, mapping inaccessible regions of the earth in peacetime, and even photographing cloud formations, storm fronts, and overcast areas over an entire continent in a few hours."

We've come a long way, with the new amazing satellites that can take pictures of the Earth in many different wavelengths and stunning clarity.  Today, when millions of people watch pictures of the Earth from cameras in outer space every day, it seems a perfectly natural thing.



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