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Amazon's Bezos Expedition Retrieves Apollo Rocket Engines From Ocean Floor

posted 21 Mar 2013, 06:54 by Mpelembe   [ updated 21 Mar 2013, 06:54 ]

Bezos Expeditions recovers two rocket engines from the ocean floor that were used to send astronauts to the moon.

AT SEA (RECENT) (BEZOS EXPEDITIONS) -  A recovery team funded by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has plucked two rocket engines from the floor of the Atlantic Ocean that were used to send astronauts to the moon more than 40 years ago, he wrote on the project's website on Wednesday (March 20).

Bezos, the chief executive of Amazon, last year announced plans to search the sea floor for rocket motors shed during Saturn 5 launches to the moon during the 1969-1972 Apollo program.

Bezos Expeditions found and retrieved two Saturn 5 first-stage engines from three miles beneath the Atlantic Ocean.

"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," Bezos wrote.

"Each piece we bring on deck conjures for me the thousands of engineers who worked together back then to do what for all time had been thought surely impossible," he added.

NASA sent seven missions to the moon, six of which successfully carried astronauts to the lunar surface. Bezos said because the serial numbers on the retrieved engines are missing or partially missing, identifying which mission they were used for will be difficult.

The engines, which remain the property of the U.S. government, will be restored and put on public display.

The recovery ship, called Seabed Worker, is due to dock at Port Canaveral, Fla., on Thursday after three weeks at sea.

Bezos also is founder and chief executive of a small privately owned startup space company called Blue Origin, based in Kent, Wash., which is working on developing low-cost, reusable suborbital and orbital spaceships to carry people and experiments.