On the Western tip of the island of Usedom is Peenemunde, which is the original Cape Canaveral best known for the ultra-secret Nazi city and Army Research Center where the Rocket Age, Space Age and Jet Age began during the Second World War. Though, the first jet engine was invented by Sir Frank Whittle, na English aviation engineer and pilot, the first operational jet engine was designed by Hans Joachim Pabst von Ohain, a German physicist. Peenemunde was where first liquid fuel rockets were developed, and where German jet engines used in Messerschmitt fighter planes were tested. It was also where CCTV was used for the first time in 1942. Nazi UFO and Die Glocke (The Bell) projects were also been worked on in at the research center in Peenemunde.

Werner von Braun was greatly inspired by Robert H. Goddard. He developed the V2 rocket in Peenemunde during WWII. Earlier ultra-secret technological projects such as the V1 rockets were also developed in Peenemunde by other teams of scientists.

The first US rocket to reach an altitude of 244 miles, high above the 62-mile Karman line that divides Earth's atmosphere and space was an original V2 rocket that was seized and transported to the US after the war. It was launched for the first time from White Sands Proving Ground in New Mexico on February 24, 1949.

After World War II, Peenemunde Army Research Center was taken over by Russians, who developed their R-7 ICBM rocket based on von Braun's designs. The Russian R-7 ICBM rocket launched Sputnik into space on October 4, 1957. It was the first rocket, which actually launched something into space. That event gave rise to the Space Race.

American, Russian and Chinese rockets still use technology that was developed and used for the first time in Peenemunde. The site of the Rocket City was bombed during the war and is in disrepair. The remains of its enormous power plant had been turned into a museum of technology. Please check the
museum's website for visiting hours and ticket information. The museum can be reached by car or UBB train. There is also a bus that goes around the Peenemunde historical site and its airport. Those who would like to fly to Peenemunde will be pleased to know that Peenemunde Airfield has a long runway and handles light passenger aircraft traffic. It was originally built as part of the original army research center.

There are stories of a UFO hidden somewhere in a bunker at Peenemunde, but it has never been found. If there was one and Russians found it, they would have probably taken it to Russia a long time ago. But there is no evidence of that either. But Peenemunde's underground constructions have not yet been fully explored, and there have been some UFO sightings in the area. However, most of those did not resembled the Nazi UFO or Die Glocke, which had been worked on in Peenemunde.

Although Peenemunde is best known for the Rocket City and technological museum, there are other sites and museums there dedicated to other interesting subjects. One of those is a U-Boot Museum docked next to the technological museum, which is worth visiting. A doll museum with a collection of antique dolls is also in Peenemunde; some of those dolls are over 200 years old. The doll museum was created by Erhard Diller, and it is more then just a museum. Exhibitions show how dolls and toys were exploited by regimes for brainwashing of children. There is also the Phaenomenta Museum where one can experience laws of physics and learn about them.

Neighboring resort town of Karlshagen was also a part of the Peenemunde Army Research Center. After the war, a monument was raised in Karlshagen to commemorate the victims of concentration camp forced labor that were worked to death in that Army Research Center.

Just as Werner von Braun was greatly inspired by Robert H. Goddard, the
Wright Brothers were greatly inspired by Otto Lilienthal. who invented gliders. He was the first person to make well-documented and successful repeated gliding flights. Otto Lilienthal was born in the nearby town of Anklam, which is located on the main land, just off the island on the Peene River. Lilienthal's study of birds have lead him to the invention of gliders, and have given birth to the aviation age. His work has also lead to the birth of the latest aircraft wing designs. The Otto Lilienthal Museum is nearby in Anklam, which is on the mainland and worth a visit.

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