First to Enter Space
In 1949, the "Bumper-WAC" became the first human-made object to enter space as it climbed to an altitude of 393 kilometers (244 miles). The rocket consisted of a JPL WAC Corporal missile sitting atop a German-made V-2 rocket. The V-2 was developed by Wernher von Braun's team of German researchers, who surrendered to the United States at the end of World War II.
Image courtesy: NASA/JPL-Caltech
JPL photo number P-6759
› Slightly larger view