Nazis And Dead Dogs: Spaceflight Before The Space Race

Posted on Categories Discover Magazine

In October 1957, a basketball-sized metallic sphere began circling Earth, transmitting a beacon from above. For many, the launch of Sputnik 1 heralded in the Space Age.

But lost often in the story of Sputnik, the Space Age, and the Space Race is that Sputnik wasn’t the first spaceflight, and that the first image of Earth from space didn’t come in the 1960s, but the 1940s.

The actual first spaceflight is a matter of debate. The Air Force defines space as starting at 50 miles (80 kilom

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