Some 67 V-2s were harvested as well. Sixty-four were used in experimental launches early in the U.S. space program. To gain altitude, a WAC Corporal rocket was bolted to the top of a V-2. In Feb. 1949, this two-stage combo achieved an altitude of 244 miles, becoming the first rocket to reach outer space. Von Braun later expanded the V-2 design, naming the booster Redstone. In 1961, Alan Shepard would ride a Mercury-Redstone rocket to become the first American in space.