German V-2 Much of the basic theory used by German scientists in the development of the engine for the V-2 came from experimentation by Dr. Robert Goddard in the United States. Post-war American liquid fueled rocket engines evolved directly from the German V-2 engine; later U.S. Air Force space boosters owed much to this engine and the improvements that followed. In February 1949 an American WAC (Without Altitude Control) Corporal second stage rocket carried atop a modified V-2 booster sent a payload 250 miles into the vacuum of space on a short suborbital flight. Mankind had taken its first real step into space. Click here to return to the V-2 Rocket page.