Jeff Bezos, the Amazon.com founder who bankrolled the private spaceflight company Blue Origin, has a new space-related venture, Wired reports: He has located and plans to recover the Apollo 11 rocket engines from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.
The engines from the Saturn 5 rocket that launched the first astronauts to land on the Moon were found lying on the ocean floor more than 4,000 meters below the surface by a team of engineers using state-of-the-art deep-sea sonar, Bezos said on his blog March 28. “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,” he said. But his team hopes to raise at least one of them.
The billionaire acknowledged that the F-1 engines remain NASA property. If Bezos is able to raise only one of them, he suggested NASA might have it displayed at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. If more are recovered, Bezos said, he has asked the space agency to consider making the second one available to the Museum of Flight in Seattle.