Two engines from a Saturn V rocket that carried U.S. astronauts to the moon have been recovered after sitting at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean for decades.
Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive officer of aerospace company Blue Origin and online retailer Amazon.com, announced March 20 that his privately funded expedition used remotely operated vehicles, tethered to a ship, to pull the massive F-1 engines to the sea surface.
The Bezos team plans to restore the engines and put them on public display. Bezos noted that the engines were designed to burn for a few minutes and then plunge back to Earth into the Atlantic.
"The upcoming restoration will stabilize the hardware and prevent further corrosion," Bezos said. "We want the hardware to tell its true story, including its 5,000 mile-per-hour re-entry and subsequent impact with the ocean surface. We’re excited to get this hardware on display where just maybe it will inspire something amazing."
Each Saturn V rocket that transported Apollo astronauts to the moon in the late 1960s and early 1970s used five F-1 first-stage engines to generate enough power to lift off from the launch pad, according to NASA, which oversaw the Apollo program. Each engine stood 19 feet tall and 12 feet wide and weighed over 18,000 pounds.
"This is a historic find and I congratulate the team for its determination and perseverance in the recovery of these important artifacts of our first efforts to send humans beyond Earth orbit,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said.
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