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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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  • Re:What's the point? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Catmeat ( 20653 ) <<> <ta> <mtm>> on Thursday March 29, 2012 @11:20AM (#39510207)

    Having seen a couple of aircraft wrecks that have been salvaged, all they'll be able to retrieve is a hunk of junk.

    Having seen pictures of World War 2 aircraft, recovered form the sea after 70 years, that looked like the only restoration needed was to hose off the mud and straighten the propeller (see image []), I'd say neither of us have any real idea what condition they'll be in.

    Basically, it's all about what angle the S-I stage hit the water 40 years ago. Cold deep sea is comparatively kind to aircraft alloys, although post-recovery conservation is a massive problem.

"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of course you never do." -- Gregory Bateson