Print 36 comment(s) - last by Bubbacub.. on Mar 25 at 11:19 AM

The parts are off to the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center for restoration

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.

Source: NBC News

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RE: Cool Stuff
By Ammohunt on 3/21/2013 12:09:49 PM , Rating: 0
They have complete operational F1 engines still at nasa and modern engineers are studying them in order to create new engines. My opinion is that the F1 doesn't need improvements or redesign it was a simple reliable design/heavy lift platform that was mistakenly abandoned for the stupid space shuttle nonsense.

RE: Cool Stuff
By FaaR on 3/21/2013 1:16:44 PM , Rating: 3
My opinion is that the F1 doesn't need improvements or redesign

What? We should just start manufacturing engines based on a half-century old design like nothing's ever happened in metallurgy, flow modelling and so on in all those intervening years? That's the dumbest thing I ever heard.

Well, not quite perhaps, but still pretty vacuous thing to say. Yeah, the F1 was a damn fine engine for its time, pogo issues nonwithstanding, but there's no place for rose colored glasses and sentimentality in the march of progress.

Anyway, good to see these artifacts of history recovered, and on their way towards being shown off like they deserve.

RE: Cool Stuff
By Ammohunt on 3/21/2013 3:00:28 PM , Rating: 2
What? We should just start manufacturing engines based on a half-century old design like nothing's ever happened in metallurgy, flow modelling and so on in all those intervening years? That's the dumbest thing I ever heard.

Construction materials goes without saying i am speaking specifically about the design.

For your benefit here is a couple half century old designs that haven't seen many improvements in the last 50 years.

F-15,F-16 their engine the F100 series same design minor improvements being used in the latest airframes..which are at least 20+ year old designs.

Just because something is old doesn't mean its not the best design, why add unnecessary complexity? which is all any engineer nowadays would do with your same attitude old=bad.

RE: Cool Stuff
By Bubbacub on 3/21/2013 4:08:18 PM , Rating: 2
yes that is exactly right.

consider the tens of billions and ten years + that have been spent making a 'new' version of the j2 engine and i hope that you would come to the conclusion that we cannot build anything new without making it needlessly complex and expensive.

just get some steel pipe, bend it around a spherical rocket chamber, add a turbo pump and off you go.

the f1 works - building a new one with no 'improvements' will be cheaper than upgrading it.

if we were making a re-usable rocket system then its worth the extra money to improve the mass fraction to orbit - for a dumb expendable launcher price trumps getting a few seconds of specific impulse.

RE: Cool Stuff
By US56 on 3/21/2013 5:46:13 PM , Rating: 2
The reason they have so many useable engines, both F-1 and J-2, is that the project was prematurely terminated after almost all of the hardware had been built which would have been used to complete the program. They no doubt also have a few spare shipsets originally built in the event a production engine or cluster was damaged in testing. The Saturn V launch system had no mission after Apollo. The plan was to continue using the Saturn IB as a heavy launch vehicle to support the construction of a space station, future missions returning to the Moon, and then on to Mars. The Shuttle was originally conceived only as a crew shuttle to support those missions. The Shuttle went off the rails when politicians got involved in making major programmatic and technical decisions. During the early critical design phases of Apollo, the politicians were running scared because of the purported "missile gap" and because the U.S. seemed to be losing the space race. They played it safe and let professional managers and engineers make most of the key decisions and the politicians were limited to setting budgetary constraints and to some extent where the money would be spent. LBJ in particular demanded that his home state get its fair share of the pie and it's no coincidence that NASA facilities in all of the Gulf states played a key role in the project.

RE: Cool Stuff
By Reclaimer77 on 3/22/2013 8:57:47 AM , Rating: 1
Space Shuttle "nonsense"?? Riiiight.

RE: Cool Stuff
By Ammohunt on 3/22/2013 11:01:40 AM , Rating: 1
So riddle me this batman if the space shuttle was such a success or otherwise great idea why wasn't their a replacement built to take its place rather then the current plan to return to rocket(Orion) based trips to space hmmmm?

RE: Cool Stuff
By Motoman on 3/22/2013 1:14:10 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Cool Stuff
By Reclaimer77 on 3/22/2013 1:50:15 PM , Rating: 2
That's you're reasoning? Think hard about it...

The person below already answered. Shocked you believe big dumb unmanned rockets are the only way forward.

RE: Cool Stuff
By Bubbacub on 3/25/2013 11:19:35 AM , Rating: 3
big dumb rockets may or may not be the answer.

the space shuttle was NEVER the answer.

this design had all the drawbacks of an expendable system and all the drawbacks of a re-usable system with few benefits:

the first stage i.e. the solids were practically useless as re-usable vehicles and to all intents and purposes were expendable. each stage consists of four very heavy simple steel tubes, held together with o rings (and we all know why these were a sub-optimal idea), 2 turbines to generate power for gimballing and whole load of other machinery. after each landing in sea water at a little short of the speed of sound the only thing that could be re-used is the steel tube - all the expensive stuff is rebuilt each time. the steel tube segments were re-used infrequently. in all the >100 flights of the shuttle the most re-used segment was used 6 times.

essentially the shuttle was an expendable first stage with a semi-reusable second stage (fuel tank not re-used, TPS needed rebuilding each launch, each engine needed to be striped down to its individual parts, xrayed for damage and then rebuilt).

add in the numerous modes of failure which result in the deaths of 7 astronauts each time, the ruinous cost of each launch and the complete and utter dearth of any low earth orbit tasks that needed a space shuttle (most commercial launches are to GSO) and you have a completely pointless rocket system that paralysed NASA for 40 years, wasted 300 billion dollars (the ISS exists only to justify the existence of the shuttle) and killed 14 astronauts.

ohh and if anyone thinks it was worth having the shuttle to service the hubble space telescope - we could have launched hundreds of hubble telescopes for the cost of the shuttle and iss.

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