68 Years On, The First Photo of Earth From Space

68 years ago today, a group of soldiers & scientists in New Mexico retrieved a steel cassette from the wreckage of a re-purposed V2 rocket. The contents were a world first - pictures of Earth from space.

A V2 rocket, launched from the White Sands Missile Test Range as part of the US government's efforts to rev up their ICBM program at the start of the Cold War, was prepared and launched along with a camera. It snapped an image every second and a half and then smacked back into the ground at 150 metres per second, smashing the camera itself into pieces but the precious cargo itself survived intact. The images showed Earth from a height 5 times more than had previously been achieved with balloons.

Nearly 7 decades on from this early achievement it's quite incredible to think what these early rocket scientists achieved with film and very little computer assistance.

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