Exceedingly rare book containing the first published photographs of the Earth taken from space: a report entitled “Photography from the V-2 Rocket at Altitudes Ranging up to 160 Kilometers” by T. A. Bergstrahl [NRL Report No. R-3083]. First edition. Washington, DC: Naval Research Laboratory, 1947. Softcover, 8.5 x 10, 25 pages. According to the distribution list in the beginning, only 47 of these reports were produced. It contains 12 original glossy photographs with interleaved captions, one of which shows V-2 rocket #21 prepared for launch at the Army Ordnance Proving Ground at White Sands, New Mexico. The other eleven photographs show views of Earth captured by a camera attached to the rocket, taken at altitudes of 225 meters to 162 kilometers. Especially notable are the last three photographs, in which the curvature of Earth is easily seen; the final photograph is a composite of images covering approximately 500,000 square miles of the southeast United States and northern Mexico. In very good condition, with scattered scuffing to covers and general handling wear.
Although the V-2 research team was able to obtain photographs of Earth from 65 miles above the surface, they were not published until 1950 (perhaps due to their low quality). The images in this report, taken on March 7, 1947, were the first ever to be taken from altitudes greater than 100 miles (160 kilometers) as well as the first to be published. An exceptionally rare report of great historic importance.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.