Apollo rocket engines recovered from the Atlantic abyss

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Apollo rocket engines recovered from the Atlantic abyss

March 23, 2013 - 18:57
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The F-1 engines are from the first stage of a Saturn rocket, some of which powered the Apollo space flights that took the first humans to the moon. Two long-lost engines from Apollo-era rockets have been hauled from a depth of more than 4km in the Atlantic Ocean by Bezos Expeditions, run by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

The two recovered engines will now be restored and put on public display.

The F-1 was a workhorse engine for the US space agency NASA as the most powerful single-chamber liquid-fuelled engine ever developed.

Because the engines' serial numbers are partially missing, it remains unclear which Apollo mission they are from - that may become clearer during restoration.

The F-1 engines were designed by Boeing subsidiary Rocketdyne to power the 138-foot-tall, Boeing-built first stage of the Saturn V rockets used for the Apollo and Skylab missions from 1967 to 1973. The Saturn V's S-IC engines originally had four F-1 engines that could be hydraulically gimballed to control the rocket, but a fifth, fixed F-1 was added on later Apollo missions to add more thrust to compensate for heavier payloads.

From the Apollo 9 mission on, they burned for roughly 165 seconds after launch to take the Saturn V to a height of about 40 miles above sea level, producing 1,525,000 pound-force (lbf) of thrust apiece, or about 7,500,000 lbf altogether when all five were firing.

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