What was the first man-made object in space?

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The first orbiting object was the Soviet satellite Sputnik launched in 1957.
If "to be in space" doesn't mean to orbit (which can be disputed) then probably the first man made object to reach space was V2 rocket launched in 1944 to an altitude of 176 kilometers well beyond the 100 km altitude generally considered, but still disputed, to be the border of space.

Correction: The first "Man made object in space" by all official records is the German V2 Rocket test number V-4 made on 3 October 1942. (see links) In addition....
Note: NASA has determined that at 122 km, the Space Shuttle transitions from rocket booster control to guidance by aerodynamic control surfaces. The V2 was clearly higher, but you make the call.

And our late arrival takes the cake. But it may not be true. During an early underground nuclear test (post V2 but pre Sputnik), a steel manhole cover (or steel plate) was launched into space and possibly out of the solar system. The high speed photographs of the blast allowed the calculation of the speed of the "missile" to be determined. And it appeared to launch with several times the necessary velocity to leave earth orbit. In addition, it was pointed "away" from the sun enough for it to leave solar orbit.

With the web being what it is, urban legend has taken on monster proportions, but it is believed by some that the Smithsonian may hold the keys to this issue. "The Nation's Attic" has a lifetime's (or several) worth of old records, and this story persists.
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In Space Travel and Exploration

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