Friday, March 30, 2012
Historic engines to be recovered?
The five Rocketdyne F-1 engines that in July 1969 powered the first stage of the Saturn V rocket that launched Apollo 11 for its rendezvous with the moon have been found in the Atlantic Ocean. They were found by Bezos Expeditions, owned by Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com. He said he hopes to raise one or more of the engines, which are owned by NASA, to put on display. The five engines, built in California, were assembled into the first stage at Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. Michoud was the manufacturing center for the entire Saturn V system. (Sources: multiple, including MSNBC, Time, New Orleans Times Picayune, 03/29/12) The F-1 engines were tested at Stennis Space Center, Miss. When the five-engine cluster was test-fired for the first time in March 1967, windows shattered in nearby communities from the 7.5 million pounds of thrust; Bezos also founded Blue Origin of Kent, Wash., which soon will test its BE-3 engine thrust chamber assembly at Stennis Space Center’s E-1 test stand.