AD
1948

The Earth IS Round!

If you ever make it to the Smithsonian, seek out the V2 Rocket. When I saw it, five stories tall, I asked myself, “How did they build that in the early 1940s?”

The Nazis were pretty much the worst guys who ever lived, but they made some incredible technological advances. I am sure their scientists were, shall we say, quite motivated.

After the war, sixty-seven V-2 rockets were assembled in the U.S. from leftover parts. Between 1946 and 1952, the rockets were tested at White Sands, New Mexico. Number 40 is of particular interest to me, because a camera was placed on it to take photographs of the earth. When stitched together, the photos showed 800,000 square miles of Earth. They showed the curvature of the planet!

That photo collage was the first time anyone had seen the earth in such a way. We know intellectually that the earth is a sphere, but one has to admit – it looks pretty flat from where we live! To see it as it is must have seemed like a marvel of the technological age.

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