Collection: NASA Solarsystem Collection
Title: First Launch
Description: A new chapter in space flight began in July 1950 with the launch of the first rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida: the Bumper 2. Shown above, Bumper 2 was an ambitious two-stage rocket program that topped a V-2 missile base with a WAC Corporal rocket. The upper stage was able to reach then-record altitudes of almost 400 kilometers, higher than even modern Space Shuttles fly today. Launched under the direction of the General Electric Company, Bumper 2 was used primarily for testing rocket systems and for research on the upper atmosphere . Bumper 2 rockets carried small payloads that allowed them to measure attributes including air temperature and cosmic ray impacts. Seven years later, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik I and Sputnik II, the first satellites into Earth orbit. In response, in 1958, the US created NASA . *Image Credit*: NASA
Original url: solarsystem.nasa.gov/multimedia/display.cfm?IM_ID=385
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