Part of Apollo-11 First Stage Recovered

March 20th, 2013
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As far as scientific achievements go, this really does not mean much, but it falls under the catagory of “really cool,” especially if, like me, you are an Apollo program buff.

Apollo-11, like all the manned lunar missions was carried aloft on a Saturn-V rocket.   The first stage of the rocket, the S-IC was designed to be disposable.  After burning out, it was jettisoned and the next stage, the S-II took over.  By the time it cut off, the rocket was at an altitude of 67,000 meters and more than 90 kilometers down range, out to sea.   Since the stage was intended to only be used once, there was no parachute.  It simply fell from that altitude and smashed into the ocean.  Presumably, never to be seen again.

Well, that was not to be for the stage that carried Apollo-11 to the moon.   Because of the historical interest, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos took it upon himself to start a project to locate and recover the remains of that rocket stage.

Needless to say, it’s not in pristine condition.   The impact shattered the thin, lightweight structure of the stage and 40+ years under salt water did not do the remains any favors either.   Still, the thrust chambers of the rocket engines were solid enough to survive in remarkably good shape.   Although the engine bells seem to have been torn off, parts of the engines are still very recognizable, including the main turbopumps.

The mighty F-1 engine is definitely an impressive site, even broken apart!

Check out this link for a gallery of images of the recovered engines.


This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 20th, 2013 at 1:35 pm and is filed under Good Science, History, Misc, Space. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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5 Responses to “Part of Apollo-11 First Stage Recovered”

  1. 1
    KitemanSA Says:

    Jeff BEZOS.


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  2. 2
    drbuzz0 Says:

            KitemanSA said:

    Jeff BEZOS.

    LOL. The autocorrect changed that. Thanks for spotting it.


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  3. 3
    DV82XL Says:

    It is also sad. God, I hope that history will not see the manned lunar missions as the high point of American accomplishment from which the slide into mediocrity will be measured. Damn you all if you let that happen.


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  4. 4
    Matte Says:

    One of the heatexchanger pictures (#4) is givning me some Aliens vibes…Brrrrr!

    Hate to be in the head of HR Giger…


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  5. 5
    MrNiceguy Says:

    Just heard yesterday that the recovered engines are less than an hour from my home, undergoing conservation at the Kansas Cosmosphere’s Spaceworks. http://cosmo.org/newsroom/ne_nw_article.cfm?id=159

    By the way, anyone who is a fan of this site should absolutely put “Visit the Cosmosphere” on your to-do list. Largest collection of NASA artifacts outside of the Air and Space Museum in DC, and the largest collection of Soviet space program artifacts outside of Moscow.


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