Robert Z. Pearlman
March 21, 2013
Long thought to be lost forever on the ocean floor, massive engines that launched astronauts to the moon more than 40 years ago have been recovered by a private expedition led by the founder of Amazon.com.
“We found so much,” said Jeff Bezos, the online retailer’s CEO, in an update posted Wednesday (March 20) on the Bezos Expeditions website. “We have seen an underwater wonderland ‚Äď 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.”
When NASA’s mighty Saturn V rockets were launched on missions to Earth orbit and the moon in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the five F-1 engines that powered each of the boosters’ first stages dropped into the Atlantic Ocean and sank to the seafloor. There they were expected to remain, discarded forever.