First manmade object in space

I know Sputnik, in 1957, was the first manmade object to orbit the Earth, but were there any rockets, probes, etc that didn’t make a full orbit launched before Sputnik?

How far back do you want to go? There’s the V2 rockets of WW2 for starters.

And how do you define space? Based on this thread, something could have gotten there at the start of WWII:

Or even earlier, maybe, if you accept balloonist’s records.

Just for kicks, the first story of an artificial satellite – made of refractory brick to resist atmospheric friction, and used as a navigational aid – was "The Brick Moon’ by Edward Everett Hale circa. In the sequel, we learn that it was manned. Predated even Verne.

I thought I cited sources saying “space” starts at 50 mile altitude (older definition) or 100 km (newer)? Neither has been reached by balloons or artillery shells.

I would guess the V-2 missile was the first to reach either altitude.

And that is available for free online, at Project Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/1633

Cool! I had to dig up a copy of the original magazine and photocopy it when I wanted to read the story.

It was reprinted in paperback, but I think that edition’s pretty obscure, too.

In 1957, a steel plate was blasted to escape velocity during a nuclear test (see Plumbob Test in link): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Orion_(nuclear_propulsion)

Does the blast to orbit have to be intentional?

If not, a hut or flint ax, atop a volcano, is the likely candidate.

Hey if the hut was occupied that’d be the first manned space flight. Not sayin he’d be alive when he got there of course.