Date: 1 Oct 1942
During World War II, Germany developed the first ballistic missile -- a rocket capable of carrying explosives to distant targets. It was also the first rocket to reach the fringes of space. Rocket pioneer Wernher von Braun led the team that designed the missile.
When the first V-2 hit London in 1944, Wernher von Braun reportedly said the rocket worked perfectly "except for landing on the wrong planet."
After the war, von Braun was instrumental in the development of the U.S. rocket program.
Credit: University of San Diego