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Space Science

Jeff Bezos To Retrieve Apollo 11 Rocket Engines 107

Hugh Pickens writes "AFP reports that founder Jeff Bezos plans to retrieve the F-1 engines that rocketed astronaut Neil Armstrong and his crew toward the moon in 1969. 'We're making plans to attempt to raise one or more of them from the ocean floor,' Bezos wrote in his blog at 'We don't know yet what condition these engines might be in — they hit the ocean at high velocity and have been in salt water for more than 40 years. On the other hand, they're made of tough stuff, so we'll see.' Bezos wrote that he was five years old when Armstrong made history during the Apollo 11 mission by becoming the first person to set foot on the moon, and 'without any doubt it was a big contributor to my passions for science, engineering, and exploration.' Bezos stressed that he is using private funds to try to raise the F-1 engines from their resting places 14,000 feet (4,267 meters) below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, and that they remain the property of NASA. 'I imagine that NASA would decide to make it available to the Smithsonian (National Air and Space Museum) for all to see.' Bezos's efforts come just days after Titanic director James Cameron became the first person in 40 years to descend to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the ocean's deepest point, in a privately-funded expedition."
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Jeff Bezos To Retrieve Apollo 11 Rocket Engines

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29, 2012 @08:22AM (#39507699)

    Can we please go back to decent central funding of scientific endeavour - particularly in space - rather than all this stupid pet projects from people who got lucky and have more money than sense? The Soviets dragged themselves from backwater feudal estate to technocratic superpower in 20 years - and China similarly - because they understood the value of education and science. They didn't think that "the market" would advance them.

  • by Nutria ( 679911 ) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @08:40AM (#39507855)

    The bad side: it puts money in the hands of the few.

    As opposed to communism, which (in reality not theory) puts money in the hands of the... few?

  • by trongey ( 21550 ) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @09:17AM (#39508285) Homepage

    Money is only wasted if you throw it in a pile and burn it. If it gets spent on something, regardless of how silly, then it stays in circulation; somebody will be using it to buy groceries, pay the mortgage, take his kids to the doctor, etc. A bunch of people will be employed on this project, and a bunch of companies will be selling goods and services. This is exactly the kind of stuff we want rich people to be doing with their money.

  • by Megane ( 129182 ) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @09:30AM (#39508447) Homepage
    Why must the only reason to recover it be to reverse-engineer it? (Besides, we already have projects like the J2X [] for re-mainstreaming Saturn V technlogy.) Why must you ignore the possibility that the very act of recovering this historical object doesn't in itself advance science through developing the technology to recover it? James Cameron's "voyage to the bottom of the sea" improved deep-diving technology sufficiently that I'm sure more people will go down there in the next few years.
  • by fast turtle ( 1118037 ) on Thursday March 29, 2012 @10:16AM (#39508945) Journal

    Well there's the science angle of those engines seeing as how they were actually launched raising the questions of how the heat affected them, plus what affect did splash down have on them along with the affect of salt water on the hot/cold components. What kind of corrosion has the metal suffered over time? All sorts of questions like that are then able to be asked.

    To me, the inability to even think of questions to be asked/ivestigated proves just how well the educational system in the United States is reaching the goal of no-one being able to think for themselves as both the government and corps simply want consumers that are as dumb as rocks. No wonder Science has pretty much died in the States though we still have a few that are innovating but they're getting locked out by Patents and such as quickly as possible.

Competence, like truth, beauty, and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder. -- Dr. Laurence J. Peter