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Dad's first photo from space

Tom Mengel

November 26, 2013

My father was in the Naval Research Lab group that used V-2 rockets (and some of the German personnel) at White Sands proving grounds that took the first "official" photo from space 60 miles up. He had it hanging on a wall at work for many years when I was a kid (he was one of the founders and the director of Goddard Space Flight Center). It was a crude BW photo by almost any of today's standards but it was the first real photo from space and showed the Cali coast and other landmarks in 5 states and I always though that was neat to have that photo. He also had the actual camera lens that took the photo and some other misc. parts from the V-2 that did that mission (they tended to land hard and to break apart back then). That was also the photo that was published in Life Magazine later on.

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