Germany was the first country in space, not the United States, not Russia: Germany. Its Aggregat 4 (V2) rocket had a first successful test flight on October 3, 1942, reaching an altitude of 52.5 miles (84.5 kilometres). On that day Walter Dornberger, head of the German Army rocket research centre, declared in a speech at Peenemünde:
This third day of October, 1942, is the first of a new era in transportation, that of space travel.
He was prescient about both space and travel. A further model of the A4 on June 20, 1944 reached an altitude of 108.5 miles (174.6 kilometres), well past the Kármán line of 62 miles (100 kilometres) where space is said to begin. To put this in context, the recent flights of Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos were to 53.5 miles and 66.5 miles, respectively. […]Germany, 1st in Space — Council of European Canadians