Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Salvages Apollo F-1 Engines from Ocean Floor
March 21, 2013 11:10 AM
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The parts are off to the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center for restoration
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."
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.
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RE: Cool Stuff
3/25/2013 11:19:35 AM
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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