A DIY engineer builds a V2 rocket's steam engine from World War II

This invention helped seed the space race.
Derya Ozdemir

Have you ever heard of the V2 rocket used by the Nazis during World War II? It was the first modern rocket ever built, as well as the first long-range ballistic missile to be actively used in conflict, and it was decades ahead of any other country in terms of engineering.

These rockets were designed in the intention of turning the tide of the war, which Germany was losing at the time. They flew too high and fast to intercept, which was one of the reasons why they were greatly feared.

The rockets were fired from German military bases to a height of around 50 miles, after which they fell to their targets at speeds of up to 3,500 mph. The V2 rocket attacks on London killed an estimated 9,000 civilians and military personnel, according to the Imperial War Museum in London.

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