This reminded me of the famous 1993 paper by Sagan et al[1] where they used the Galileo probe to try to detect life on Earth through analysing the spectra of the athmosphere and detecting chemical concentrations that could only be explained by life(or that's the hope anyway).

For me the most exciting prospect of the JWST is the ability to analyse the spectra of atmospheres around exoplanets. We could have tantalising evidence of extrasolar life in just a few years.

[1]: https://www.nature.com/articles/365715a0

The wiki for this flight[1] is unfortunately pretty thin.

I'd really like to know the story behind how they got a V2 rocket out to White Sands and actually conducted this flight. It has to be a fascinating story - one I hadn't even heard of until now. I assume this was broadly part of Operation Paperclip, and either fully assembled rockets or their components were moved out of Germany and to the United States at some point.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V-2_No._13

Edit: I take it back, the wiki does link the final project report[2] from 1952 that goes into detail about how this was accomplished. It's worth reading.

[2] https://archive.org/details/finalreportproje00whit/page/2/mo...

Here's a short newsreel from the time that includes the flight footage:


I'm surprised the Germans didn't take any shots like this when developing the weapon. The idea of strapping a camera to the outside of the rocket doesn't sound particularly novel, but I guess they might have used telemetry to learn everything that needed to know?
Is "pale blue dot" still the furthest out?


I don't think a 65 miles suborbital flight qualifies as "outer space" but still cool to see.
What would be really strange would be if the Germans never did this.
Flat as a pancake!