DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
A4 rocket on a test launch in 1943, Peenemunde, Usedom Island, Germany. This rocket, developed by Wernher von Braun, was, in October 1942, the first manmade object to enter space. It was later named the V-2 and used as an offensive weapon by Nazi Germany. Gyroscopes controlled fins to maintain stable and directed flight. Its ethyl alcohol and liquid oxygen fuel propelled it to a speed of 1300 metres per second and a height of 97 kilometres. The rocket would only burn for around 60 seconds, with the A4 acting as a supersonic projectile for the rest of the flight.
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