Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has resurrected the Saturn 5’s rocket engines from the ocean floor, and will now have them restored before sending them off to museums.
Bezos and a salvage team traveled the Atlantic Ocean aboard the Seabed Worker to bring the historic space components back to life, and three weeks ago, they managed to grab some of the Saturn 5 parts off the ocean floor.
“What an incredible adventure,” said Bezos. “We’ve seen an underwater wonderland — an incredible sculpture garden of twisted F-1 engines that tells the story of a fiery and violent end, one that serves testament to the Apollo program.”
The components were about 14,000 feet deep, and were well-preserved by the cold waters. There were enough recovered parts to display two F-1 engines.
Now, the parts are off to the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center for restoration. From there, they will go to two separate museums for display. Some of the options include the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington or the Museum of Flight in Seattle.
“We look forward to the restoration of these engines by the Bezos team and applaud Jeff’s desire to make these historic artifacts available for public display,” said Charles Bolden, NASA administrator. “Jeff and his colleagues at Blue Origin are helping to usher in a new commercial era of space exploration, and we are confident that our continued collaboration will soon result in private human access to space, creating jobs and driving America’s leadership in innovation and exploration.”
Blue Origin is a privately funded aerospace company launched by Bezos.
Bezos had located the F-1 engines around this time last year, describing his intention to recover them for U.S. museums.
The Apollo 11 spaceflight landed the first humans on Earth’s moon on July 20, 1969. Among those to first land on the moon were Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin Jr.
The launch vehicle used to blast Apollo 11 into space was the Saturn 5 rocket, which utilized F-1 engines. These powerful engines had 32 million horsepower and were capable of burning 6,000 pounds of rocket-grade kerosene and liquid oxygen each second. These engines burned for a few minutes before disconnecting from the second-stage module and plummeting into the Atlantic Ocean.
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