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 wasnâ€™t the first spaceflight, and that the first image of Earth from space didnâ€™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