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Steve Knight

Apollo 11's 1st Stage Engines found!

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-17544565

29 March 2012 Last updated at 00:43

Amazon boss Jeff Bezos 'finds Apollo 11 Moon engines'

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos says he has located the long-submerged F-1 engines that blasted the Apollo 11 Moon mission into space.

In a blog post, Mr Bezos said the five engines were found using advanced sonar scanning some 14,000ft (4,300m) below the ocean surface.

Mr Bezos, a billionaire bookseller and space-flight enthusiast, said he was making plans to raise one or more.

Apollo 11 carried astronauts on the first Moon landing mission in 1969.

The F-1 engines were used on the giant Saturn V rocket that carried the Apollo landing module out of the Earth's atmosphere and towards the Moon.

They burned for just a few minutes before separating from the second stage module and falling to Earth somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean.

Mr Bezos' announcement comes days after film director James Cameron succeeded in his own deep-sea expedition, reaching the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the deepest point on the planet.

Museum hopes

Announcing the discovery on his Bezos Expeditions website, Mr Bezos described the F-1 as a "modern wonder" that boasted 32 million horsepower and burned 6,000lb (2,720kg) of rocket-grade kerosene and liquid oxygen every second.

"I was five years old when I watched Apollo 11 unfold on television, and without any doubt it was a big contributor to my passions for science, engineering, and exploration," he wrote, confirming that his team had located the engines but without hinting where they might be.

"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. On the other hand, they're made of tough stuff, so we'll see," Mr Bezos wrote.

His privately funded team was planning to raise one or more engines, he wrote.

He said he planned to ask Nasa - which still owns the rockets - for permission to display one in the Museum of Flight in his home city of Seattle.

Nasa said it looked forward to hearing more about the recovery, the Associated Press reports.

Other elements of the Apollo missions - including the Apollo 11 landing module - are on display in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC.

The attempt to raise the F-1 engines is not the first foray into space technology for Mr Bezos.

In 2000 he founded a private space flight firm, Blue Origin, which has received Nasa funding and is working on making sub-orbital space flight commercially available.

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It is a tremendous find in several ways. Firstly, the historical importance of such artefacts cannot be understated; everything to do with this particular mission concerns not just the USA but all of the world.

Next, it will be interesting to see how NASA deal with the request. Unlike the recovery of Gus Grissom's Liberty Bell 7 Mercury capsule (to whom the explorers purchased the full rights to), these engines are still owned by the US taxpayer. I can't see them not being allowed to be put on display but it is interesting nonetheless.

Lastly, on another forum there was an Apollo denier who wandered into this area. One of the cornerstones of their argument was that if we did it before (the lunar landings), why haven't we been back? Why so long to do it now? The explanation of cost and technical atrophy would not gel with this person. We pointed out parallels: Concorde and the Trieste. The Trieste was a bathyscaphe that went to the bottom of the Mariana Trench in the early 1960s. It was pointed out that according to this person's logic, the Trieste must also been faked since more modern and more technically capable craft had not repeated the feat.

This person then decided to try and prove that the voyage of the Trieste had been faked. Suffice to say they embarrassed themselves and simply appeared to be a fanatic who refused to admit they might be wrong.

This latest journey simply drives two nails in their twin hoax theories.

Edited by Evan Burton

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And now we have James Cameron's trip down there...although he had to return early because of technical difficulties...

One does have to wonder, however, how much is left, and in what condition after so many years under water....?

Yes, going to be a very interesting story to follow.

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Well, fairly deep water and cold, so the reduced oxygen content would mean reduced corrosion... but there are a variety of metals used in the engine construction: copper, stainless steel, steel, nickel, silver, aluminium, titanium, iconel alloys and even gold-plating! Some will have withstood time better than others.

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http://www.space.com/15099-apollo-moon-rocket-engine-recovery-infographic.html

Billionaire space enthusiast and entrepreneur Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, has announced an audacious plan to retrieve the five massive rocket engines used to launch NASA's historic Apollo 11 mission to land the first men on the moon in 1969. The five F-1 rocket engines were jettisoned along with the rest of the Saturn V moon rocket's first stage after liftoff. For more than 40 years, they've sat on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. See what the Apollo 11 F-1 moon rocket engines were like in this

SPACE.com infographic :

apollo-11-saturn-v-f1-engines-salvage-be

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Well, fairly deep water and cold, so the reduced oxygen content would mean reduced corrosion... but there are a variety of metals used in the engine construction: copper, stainless steel, steel, nickel, silver, aluminium, titanium, iconel alloys and even gold-plating! Some will have withstood time better than others.

I’m reminded of the wooden Viking ship which survived almost intact after over 1000 year in relatively shallow waters, metal artifacts and even textiles were very well preserved as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viking_Ship_Museum_%28Oslo%29

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I'm going to test the new board settings, so here are some images of the Saturn V's F1 engines.

5-F1-engines-SaturnV1st-stage.png

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Good. We can now post up to five images. I don't know if that is five images AND five other media, or if it is five in total. I'll try that out later.

Trap for young players, though. If using the normal editing mode and you cut'n'paste an image URL, the board makes it a link, even if you put it in image tags (manually).

You have to either go to advanced mode (so all the code, not just the link, shows up) or I suspect use the "insert image" button at the top of the post reply box.

If you are used to doing things the old-fashioned way and writing the tags yourself, it won't work.

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Yep - use the "Insert Image" tags.

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I might change the default image setting, though. IIRC, any image up to 1000 x 1000 pixels will show up as it is. If it is larger than that, it gets reduce to 1000 x 1000 and clicking on the image brings up the full size picture.

1000 x 1000 may be a little too large; I might reduce it to say 400 x 400.

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Saturn really was a monster, eh...

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Just imagine if they had kept it going, and gone ahead with the Mars missions. Who knows where we might be with respect to off-world settlements by now.

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