March 20, 2013 by
On July 16, 1969, the world watched as the historic Apollo 11 mission took off from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, which of course ended with Neil Armstrong – and greater mankind – walking on the moon.
What the world didn’t watch – or at least realize – was that the five F-1 engines used to launch the Saturn V spacecraft into orbit would make a violent descent back to earth, disappearing into the vast Atlantic Ocean as NASA had planned, never to be seen again… or so they thought.
On March 28, 2012, billionaire founder and CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, made the announcement that his team at Bezos Expeditions had located the Apollo 11 F-1 engines lying some 14,000 feet below the surface and were making plans to raise them.
One year later, Bezos says they have done just that.
“What an incredible adventure,”
Bezos wrote today from onboard the Seabed Worker, an 88m multi-purpose support vessel owned by Swire Seabed. “We are right now onboard the Seabed Worker headed back to Cape Canaveral after finishing three weeks at sea, working almost 3 miles below the surface. We found so much. 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. We photographed many beautiful objects in situ and have now recovered many prime pieces. 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.”