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10 historic images of rocket launches

NASA's first rocket launch

Photo: NASA

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More than 60 years of rockets

On July 24, 1950, NASA launched its first rocket from the shores of Cape Canaveral, Fla. Part of the Bumper series of rockets, the devices were created from modified World War II-captured German V-2 missile bases combined with the first kind of sounding rocket, the WAC-corporal sounding rocket. The upper-stage of the rocket reached around 400 kilometers, which NASA points out is higher than the modern space shuttle flew. In 1957, the Soviet Union launched the first satellites into orbit, Sputnik I and Sputnik II. In 1958, the United States created NASA, ushering in the next few decades of space exploration.