This film shows the first countdown to launch of a rocket. Not just the first one in a movie, but the first ever: it was invented as a dramatic device for the movie. Also depicted for the first time are the use of liquid rocket fuel, a rocket with two stages, and zero gravity in space.
German rocket scientist Hermann Oberth was hired by the studio to create a flying model of the Friede (the rocket in the movie) to launch from northern Germany on the day of the release as a publicity stunt. However, Oberth pulled out of the deal because the rocket was not working, and undue pressure from the director was causing too many frayed nerves.