​​Satellite Spotting & Operations Handbook

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Launch Sites

The very first launch site in the world that threw something into space was at Peenemunde, an island off the Germany Baltic coast. The V2 rocket was number V49 and flew for 262 seconds on 6th October 1943. The maximum altitude was estimated to be around 188 km; well above the 100 km official height where space begins. If there was a camera on board, it could have taken a fantastic picture, the very first of the curvature of the earth; instead it had a dummy warhead made of sand.

To take advantage of the Earth's spin at the equator, a platform has been built between a consortium of nations to launch equatorial orbiting satellites.