First Image of Earth From Space Taken By a V-2 Rocket

The first image of Earth from space was taken by the V-2 No. 13 rocket in 1946 using the DeFry 35mm movie film camera and a 50mm lens attached to the rocket. The camera had a relatively narrow field of view. As a result, Earth’s curvature is only very slightly visible.

Flat-Earthers claim the flat appearance in the photo “proves” a flat Earth. In reality, 1. by careful examination, we can see the curve, 2. the camera has a narrow field of view, reducing the visible curvature, 3. the photo shown by flat-Earthers is usually a cropped version, further reducing the visible curve, and 4. the photo matches the expected curvature according to simulation.

The camera used to take the photo was a 35mm movie film camera. It has a crop factor of approximately 1.5x. As a result, the attached 50mm camera would have an effective field of view equivalent to a ~75mm lens attached to a 35mm still camera. We can use this figure and the rocket’s altitude to determine the expected curvature from a simulation. And the result perfectly matches the photo.