Quick Facts

V-2 Rocket Thrust Chamber

Vengeance Weapon-2

Era: WWII / Space

On loan from the Smithsonian Institution

Location: Flight Innovation Center (Space Wing)

The V-2 rocket, developed by Dr. Wernher Von Braun and a team of scientists and engineers, was the first man-made object to each outer space. The V-2's first successful test flight was on October 3, 1942. It was a fearsome weapon that could carry one ton of high explosives. Dubbed "Vergeltungswaffe-Zwei" (Vengeance Weapon-2) by Hitler, more than 4,400 V-2s were launched against England and Belgium beginning in 1944.

The heart of the V-2 was its engine, which utilized many new innovations, such as fuel injectors and regenerative cooling, where fuel is circulated through the walls of the nozzle before being burned.