Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Locates Apollo 11 F-1 Engines, Looks to Resurrect Them
March 29, 2012 11:29 AM
Bezos plans to ask NASA's permission to put the engines in the Museum of Flight in Seattle
Amazon Founder and CEO
has located and is looking to resurrect F-1 engines that were used on the Apollo 11 mission.
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 V 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.
Now, a little over 40 years later, Bezos has found the F-1 engines in the Atlantic. He was able to do this by using advanced sonar, which is capable of scanning 14,000 feet
below the surface
of the Atlantic Ocean.
"I was five years old when I watched Apollo 11 unfold on television, and without any doubt it was a big contributor to my passion for science, engineering and exploration," said Bezos. "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, who set up the privately funded aerospace company Blue Origin, plans to resurrect at least one of the F-1 engines and would like NASA's permission to display it in the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington.
NASA didn't exactly give the green light at this point, but is keeping an eye on Bezos' effort to bring a piece of Apollo 11's history back to life.
Bezos isn't the only billionaire entrepreneur who has stepped out of his office to take an interest in space. Elon Musk, a co-founder of both PayPal and Tesla Motors, is currently the CEO of his American space transport company SpaceX, which is working toward becoming the first private company to launch the American astronaut into space.
SpaceX's Dragon cargo capsule
is expected to conduct an unmanned demonstration flight to the International Space Station (ISS) on April 30, becoming the first private company to dock at the ISS.
In addition to Bezos' deep-sea venture, director James Cameron just successfully completed a solo dive to the
deepest part of the ocean
-- the bottom of the Mariana Trench.
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