DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
First V-2 (A-4) rocket launch, artwork. Designed and built in Germany during World War II, this rocket was 14 metres in length and carried nearly a tonne of explosive. It was the world's first ballistic missile, and the first to achieve sub-orbital flight. The first successful flight was on 3 October 1942. The rocket burned for 58 seconds and reached a height of 190 kilometres, falling into the Baltic Sea. From September 1944 to March 1945, over 3000 V-2 rockets were launched by Nazi Germany during the war. The work on the V-2 rocket laid the foundations for later work on space flight.
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