Forty-four years (and three days) after it helped
launch the first men to walk on the moon, a huge rocket engine part
salvaged from the ocean floor has been positively identified as a
historic component of the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission.
"I’m thrilled to share some exciting news," Amazon.com founder and
CEO Jeff Bezos wrote Friday (July 19) on his Bezos Expeditions
website. "44 years ago tomorrow [July 20] Neil Armstrong stepped onto
the moon, and now we have recovered a critical technological marvel
that made it all possible."
In March 2013, Bezos revealed that his team had raised the parts
for at least two F-1 engines, but they didn’t know if they were from
Apollo 11 or one of the 12 other Saturn V rockets that flew between
1967 and 1973, each equipped with five of the engines.
"One of the conservators who was scanning the objects with a black
light and a special lens filter has made a breakthrough discovery –
"2044" – stenciled in black paint on the side of one of the massive
thrust chambers," wrote Bezos. "2044 is the Rocketdyne [company]
serial number that correlates to NASA number 6044, which is the serial
number for F-1 Engine #5 from Apollo 11."