a large ship in a body of water with smoke coming out of it: The launch of a German V-2 rocket.


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The launch of a German V-2 rocket.

On Oct. 3, 1942, Germany did the first-ever successful test launch of a ballistic missile. 

This missile was officially named Aggregat 4 (A4) but more commonly known as the V-2. The V-2 was designed by the famous German rocket scientist Wernher von Braun, and it proved to be a super deadly weapon during World War II. 

It launched from an island off the Baltic coast of Germany called Peenemünde and reached an altitude of 52.5 miles (84.5 kilometers) before safely landing right on target 118 miles (190 km) away.

Each year, the first week of October kicks off the United Nation’s World Space Week, which celebrates the world’s achievements in space since the dawn of the Space Age on Oct. 4, 1957 with the launch of Sputnik, the world’s first artificial satellite. Find out how to celebrate World Space Week 2020 here.

Gallery: China’s Chang’e 3 lunar lander still going strong after 7 years on the moon (Space)

Catch up on our entire “On This Day In Space” series on YouTube with this playlist.

On This Day in Space Archive!

Still not enough space? Don’t forget to check out our Space Image of the Day, and on the weekends our Best Space Photos and Top Space News Stories of the week. 

Email Hanneke Weitering at [email protected] or follow her @hannekescience. Follow us @Spacedotcom and on Facebook. 

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