Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has found and is looking to resurrect F-1 engines that were used on the Apollo 11 mission, reports Daily Tech. The Apollo 11 spaceflight landed the first humans on Earth’s moon on July 20, 1969.
It is known that minutes after the historic Apollo 11 mission launched in July 1969, its five F-1 engines were discharged and dropped safely into the Atlantic Ocean.
For more than 40 years, no one knew exactly where they landed, reports Mashable. Now, Bezos announced that an expedition he funded has located the F-1 engines at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.
It is reported that he was able to do this by using advanced sonar, which is capable of scanning 14,000 feet below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean.
Bezos announced in a blog post that a team of “undersea pros” found the engines 14,000 below sea level on the floor of the Atlantic.
Now, he says, “we’re making plans to raise one or more of them” back to dry land. “I was five years old when I watched Apollo 11 unfold on television, and without any doubt it was a big contributor to my passion for science, engineering and exploration,” said Bezos.
“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,” he said.
Amazon CEO did not reveal how he and his team knew for sure the engines are in fact from the Apollo 11 mission, nor did he say how exactly they were located.
But he said he does hoped to have the first one that gets raised made available for viewing in the Smithsonian, and a possible second placed on display at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, where Amazon is headquartered.
Still, NASA didn’t give the green light at this point, but is keeping an eye on Bezos’ effort to bring a piece of Apollo 11’s history back to life.
ABC News writes that Bezos, who went to Wall Street before starting Amazon, remained, all the while, a space enthusiast. He used some of his profits from Amazon to start a company called Blue Origin.
He’s said very little about it, but it is one of the many companies competing to bring the efficiencies of private enterprise to space travel, “so that many people can afford to go and so that we humans can better continue exploring the solar system.”
He says his love for space began as a young child watching NASA’s Apollo 11 mission unfold on TV.
“NASA is one of the few institutions I know that can inspire five-year-olds,” Bezos wrote in his blog post. “It sure inspired me, and with this endeavor, maybe we can inspire a few more youth to invent and explore.”
Daily Tech says that Bezos isn’t the only billionaire entrepreneur who has stepped out of his office to take an interest in space.
Elon Musk, a co-founder of both PayPal and Tesla Motors, is currently the CEO of his American space transport company SpaceX, which is working toward becoming the first private company to launch the American astronaut into space.
SpaceX’s Dragon cargo capsule is expected to conduct an unmanned demonstration flight to the International Space Station (ISS) on April 30, becoming the first private company to dock at the ISS.