Jeff Bezos confirm the discovery of the Apollo 11 engines

20 Jul

 

Jeff Bezos has always had two passions in his life. One is Seattle-based e-commerce giant Amazon, that he that he started almost 20 years ago, and the other is space exploration. So, when the success of his business gave him the funds to go after a piece of one of his fondest childhood memories he went for it. In March of 2012 Mr. Bezos announced that he would fund and lead a mission to recover the engines of the Apollo 11 moon flight. Then, a year later on March 21, 2013 the exploration recovered an F-1 engine from the Apollo missions. Now, on the eve of the 44 year anniversary of the historic moon landing of Apollo, it has been confirmed that the engines found were indeed the ones from Apollo 11.

“44 years ago tomorrow Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon, and now we have recovered a critical technological marvel that made it all possible,” Bezos wrote on his blog.

The F-1 engines were a technological marvel that was the end result of the most ambitious endeavor of the last half of the 20th century. Shortly after WWII, 1946, what at at that time the NACA (national advisory committee for aeronautics the work on rocket technology began in the United States. Then 12 years later President Dwight David Eisenhower changed the NACA to NASA (national aeronautics and space act). Under NASA manned space travel took off with the Mercury program, the Gemini program and finally the Apollo program. Since each of the three programs would carry more men and supplies, travel farther and have larger rockets. Larger rockets meant bigger and more powerful engines culminating in the F-1 engine that could provide the 7.5 million pounds of thrust needed to take the 363 foot rocket, three men and supplies into space.

“The technology used for the recovery is in its own way as otherworldly as the Apollo technology itself,” Bezos wrote in March. “The Remotely Operated Vehicles worked at a depth of more than 14,000 feet, tethered to our ship with fiber optics for data and electric cables transmitting power at more than 4,000 volts.”

When Mr. Bezos’ team found the engines in March of this year they where a few miles off of the Florida coast in 14,000 feet of water. They had been laying there in the saltwater of the Atlantic Ocean since the first stage of the Saturn V rocket separated at 38 miles over the Earth after Apollo 11’s launch on July 16, 1969. Later the second stage of the rocket would be jettisoned as Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Micheal Collins went on to the moon.

 

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