There have been news stories about rockets since the earliest newspapers, but reports about the use of former German V-2 rockets after World War II marked the beginning of space news as we know it today.
And what better example of early space news than the October 24, 1946 Universal newsreel story about the first photos from space.
“On October 24, 1946, not long after the end of World War II and years before the Sputnik satellite opened the space age, a group of soldiers and scientists in the New Mexico desert saw something new and wonderful — the first pictures of Earth as seen from space.
The grainy, black-and-white photos were taken from an altitude of 65 miles by a 35-millimeter motion picture camera riding on a V-2 missile launched from the White Sands Missile Range. Snapping a new frame every second and a half, the rocket-borne camera climbed straight up, then fell back to Earth minutes later, slamming into the ground at 500 feet per second. The camera itself was smashed, but the film, protected in a steel cassette, was unharmed.
….When the movie frames were stitched together, Clyde Holliday, the engineer who developed the camera, wrote in National Geographic in 1950, the V-2 photos showed for the first time ‘how our Earth would look to visitors from another planet coming in on a space ship.’”
– “The First Photo From Space”
Air & Space Magazine, November 2006
This silent film footage is from a British Pathe newsreel:
“WHITE SANDS, N.M., Oct. 24 (AP) – The Army fired a German V-2 rocket sixty-three miles above the earth today and, although the altitude fell far short of the 104-mile record, an Ordnance Department spokesman termed the results of the test ‘fairly good.’
….Army experts had said they expected today’s rocket to supply information which might cause ‘serious revision’ of existing cosmic ray theories.
Lieut. Alexander Szabo of the proving ground’s public relations office said ‘high hopes of recovery’ of instruments carried in the nose were entertained.”
– “V-2 Rocket Is Fired To 63-Mile Altitude”
Associated Press, October 24, 1946