Saturn V Moon Rocket F-1 Engine Thrust Chamber recovered from the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. Credit: Jeff Bezos Expeditions

Apollo 11 F-1 Engine Finding Confirmed by Jeff Bezos on Eve of 1st Human Moonwalk

Article Updated: 23 Dec , 2015

by

In a fitting testament to NASA’s momentous Apollo Moon Landing Program, NASA and billionaire Jeff Bezos confirmed today (July 19) the discovery of a powerful F-1 first stage engine component from the Saturn V moon rocket that launched three American astronauts on the historic journey of Apollo 11 to land the first two humans on the Moon on July 20, 1969.

“On the eve of the 44th moonwalk anniversary, the Bezos Expedition confirms an Apollo 11 Saturn V F1 engine find,” NASA officially announced on its websites just moments ago today, July 19.

Apollo 11 commander and NASA astronaut Neil Armstrong, was immortalized forever when he first set foot on the moon 44 years ago tomorrow (July 20, 1969), followed minutes later by the lunar module pilot, NASA astronaut Buzz Aldrin.

The Saturn V rockets first stage was powered by a cluster of five F-1 engines – a technological marvel and the most powerful single-nozzle, liquid-fueled rocket engine ever developed.

“44 years ago tomorrow Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon, and now we have recovered a critical technological marvel that made it all possible,” says Bezos on his Expedition website today.

Apollo 11 Saturn V F-1 Engine Thrust Chamber recovered from the floor of the Atlantic Ocean- stenciled with Rocketdyne serial number “2044”. Credit: Jeff Bezos Expeditions

Apollo 11 Saturn V F-1 Engine Thrust Chamber recovered from the floor of the Atlantic Ocean- stenciled with Rocketdyne serial number “2044”. Credit: Jeff Bezos Expeditions

Bezos, founder and Chief Executive Officer of the aerospace company Blue Origin and Amazon.com, originally announced the discovery and recovery of significant components of two flown F-1 engines amongst a field of twisted wreckage from the floor of the Atlantic Ocean in March of this year, aboard the Seabed Worker at Port Canaveral, Florida, along with a treasure trove of other major Saturn V components hauled up from a depth of almost 3 miles.

“We brought back thrust chambers, gas generators, injectors, heat exchangers, turbines, fuel manifolds and dozens of other artifacts – all simply gorgeous and a striking testament to the Apollo program,” wrote Bezos in a update this morning, July 19.

But until today, the engines exact identification remained elusive because of decades of severe seabed corrosion and their fiery, destructive end upon plunging and smashing unimpeded onto the ocean’s surface.

Saturn V F-1 Engine Nozzle recovered from the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. Credit: Jeff Bezos Expeditions

Saturn V F-1 Engine nozzle recovered from the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. Credit: Jeff Bezos Expeditions

Conservators from the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson, Kansas worked painstakingly since March to identify the F-1 engine parts.

“Today, I’m thrilled to share some exciting news. One of the conservators who was scanning the objects with a black light and a special lens filter has made a breakthrough discovery – “2044” – stenciled in black paint on the side of one of the massive thrust chambers, says Bezos.

“2044 is the Rocketdyne serial number that correlates to NASA number 6044, which is the serial number for F-1 Engine #5 from Apollo 11. The intrepid conservator kept digging for more evidence, and after removing more corrosion at the base of the same thrust chamber, he found it – “Unit No 2044” – stamped into the metal surface.”

Blacklight ocean view of Saturn V F-1 Engine recovered from the floor of the Atlantic Ocean.   Credit: Jeff Bezos Expeditions

Blacklight view of Apollo 11 Saturn V F-1 Engine recovered from the floor of the Atlantic Ocean with identifying “2044” serial number. Credit: Jeff Bezos Expeditions

Apollo 11 launched to the Moon on July 16, 1969 from Launch Complex 39-A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Armstrong and Aldrin landed on the Sea of Tranquility inside the Lunar Module. They took a single lunar excursion and spent 2 hours and 11 minutes as the first two men to walk on the moon. They stayed on the moon for a total of 21 hours and 36 minutes before blasting off for the journey back home to Earth.

Armstrong suddenly passed away nearly a year ago on August 25, 2012 at age 82 – read my stories, here and here.

Aldrin is still active and strenuously advocating for starting human expeditions to the Red Planet.

He outlined his exploration concepts in a newly published book titled – “Mission to Mars.”

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The five F-1 engines used in the 138-foot-tall Saturn V first stage known as the S-IC generated 7.5 million pounds of liftoff thrust, or some 1.5 million pounds each. They stand 19 feet tall by 12 feet wide. Each one weighs over 18,000 pounds and was manufactured by Rocketdyne.

The F-1 had more power than all three space shuttle main engines combined. They burned a mixture of liquid oxygen and kerosene fuel for two-and-one-half-minutes, carrying the Saturn V to an altitude of some 36 miles.

Altogether, six Apollo Moon landing flights boosted by Saturn V’s sent a total of 12 humans on moon walking expeditions to Earth’s nearest neighbor during the 1960s and 1970s.

“This is a big milestone for the project and the whole team couldn’t be more excited to share it with you all,” Bezos wrote.

Bezos’ Blue Origin firm is also working to develop a commercial rocket and ‘space taxi’ to finally resume launching American astronauts back to low Earth orbit from American soil after a multi year gap.

More than four decades have passed since the last humans traversed the lunar surface in December 1972 during NASA’s Apollo 17 moon landing mission.

After all that time, the F-1 may yet live again.

NASA is now working on an upgraded F-1 to power a future variant of the new SLS heavy lift booster under development and intended to launch humans aboard the new Orion crew capsule back to the Moon and to deep space destinations including Asteroids and Mars.

NASA’s robotic exploration of the moon continues this year with the blastoff of the LADEE Lunar observatory on Sept. 6 from NASA’s Wallops Island facility in Virginia.

Ken Kremer

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin plant the US flag on the Lunar Surface during 1st human moonwalk in history - exactly 44 years ago on July 20, 1969 during Apollo 1l mission. Credit: NASA

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin plant the US flag on the Lunar Surface during 1st human moonwalk in history – exactly 44 years ago on July 20, 1969 during Apollo 1l mission. Credit: NASA

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1sttofight
Guest
1sttofight
July 19, 2013 6:39 PM

I live and grew up in NE Ala. Huntsville was about 50 miles away and we could hear them testing those engines. It was just a dull roar that went on and on.

nobikiniatoll
Guest
nobikiniatoll
July 20, 2013 12:44 AM

I lived in Huntsville at the time (my dad worked for a NASA contractor). Those static tests of the individual engines and entire boosters shook the earth like a quake and the shock waves condensed water vapor clouds a thousand feet above the massive test stands in otherwise completely clear skies.

Eric Bryce
Guest
Eric Bryce
July 19, 2013 9:21 PM

I read somewhere that a Saturn V liftoff could be detected by instruments apparently used for Earth quake detection as far north as Washington DC.
We had developed this spectacular technology and we threw it all away. Richard Nixon was eager to end the Apollo program and vetoed NASA’s plans for further lunar exploration and eventual permanently manned Moon base because he believed that the Moon landings would always be associated with Kennedy and Johnson, two men he hated.

Kfredrick72
Guest
Kfredrick72
July 19, 2013 7:47 PM

A remnant of a once great nation that used to do amazing things. Now we have all been reduced to arguing over government benefits and Travon Martin.

Guest
Guest
Guest
July 19, 2013 4:42 PM

your right………..

Tom Linder
Guest
Tom Linder
July 19, 2013 6:33 PM

That would be “you’re.”

Tom Linder
Guest
Tom Linder
July 19, 2013 6:33 PM

That’s “Trayvon,” and you’re a whining imbecile. I’m sorry if the importance of the unpunished murder of an innocent young man, the absurdity of “stand-your-ground” laws and the wider implications for race relations in this country are lost on you.

Colin
Guest
Colin
July 19, 2013 10:26 PM

Trayvon* RIP

Bryan Monteith
Guest
Bryan Monteith
July 20, 2013 12:33 AM

I’m a tiny bit sick of grumpy old white dudes that could manufacture race politics out of a story about corn futures. I like to think I’m not grumpy but I am white and AARP will be spamming me like crazy in about three years.

delphinus100
Guest
delphinus100
July 20, 2013 11:56 PM

There were more than a few other social/national issues, when that hardware flew, you know…

Kfredrick72
Guest
Kfredrick72
July 21, 2013 3:04 AM

Very true but at least we had some fairly amazing things going on we could all root for as a nation. Now all we have are the “issues”. We used to be a nation of dreamers and doers, and sadly I see that dying out. National pride and morale are low and the fact we aren’t doing great things is part of the reason.

We have a gigantic, expensive administrative state that spends most of its time moving our money around based on political calculations. Meanwhile we have to hitch a ride into space from the Russians.

Ameriman
Member
Ameriman
July 24, 2013 11:13 AM

Private enterprise like SpaceX is doing ‘great things’..

It is the bloated, pork-driven, dead-wood cold war legacy big govt Federal Agency Nasa who has wasted the 40 years and $500 billion on US manned space since Apollo ended…. without getting a single American beyond low earth orbit, and leaving itself incompetent/incapable of crewing or even resupplying our own space station.

The US manned space program is too important to be further entrusted to our Federal Govt and Nasa….
We need to downsize bloated, pork driven Nasa back to Naca levels… rely on Caltech’s JPL for probes, and private enterprise for boosters and US manned space.

Kfredrick72
Guest
Kfredrick72
July 24, 2013 3:34 PM

I have to agree with you there. I think we need to reduce the size of the entire federal government.

Sammy
Guest
Sammy
July 19, 2013 3:24 PM

This is so cool! Thanks Mr. Bezos.

Aqua4U
Member
July 19, 2013 8:40 PM

Looking history right in the eye! Sweet…. A moment of moments, everyone (alive then) remembers where they were that day! I was visiting Gardner, Mass. at my grandma Littlefield’s house….

Harry Nusser
Guest
Harry Nusser
July 20, 2013 10:38 AM

I was doing laundry at the local laundry mat and watching it on the TV they had there.

Aqua4U
Member
July 20, 2013 4:22 PM

Interesting how so many posts have nothing to do with the above article? I can’t help but wonder whatever else Jeff Bezos has seen with his submersibles? Has he looked for Falcon 9 boosters? I’ll bet there’s tons of rocket parts scattered around out there. Makes one wonder who else might have mined that knowledge base resource?

Steven Rudin
Guest
July 19, 2013 10:15 PM

The moon hoax believers are working around the clock to come up with a new reason that “proves” we didn’t go to the moon.

Chris
Guest
Chris
July 27, 2013 11:31 PM

We don’t need to, NASA did it for us when the scrapped the “successful” F-1 rocket and spent billions to develop a new launch rocket that actually worked.

Steven Rudin
Guest
July 28, 2013 2:27 AM

Are you saying we didn’t go? If so, It was nice of the USSR to go along with our hoax. http://www.usnews.com/science/articles/2009/07/20/russia-still-blue-over-moon-landing-40-years-later

Chris
Guest
Chris
July 28, 2013 9:23 PM

Seeing how the Soviets were lying about just about everything, including their entire space program. Of course they had to stay quiet about the Apollo program out of fear of having their hoaxes exposed. In the book written by Werner Keller, everything that was a Soviet success, started out because the West was helping them achieve those successes. http://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/792700

lagrangia
Guest
lagrangia
August 2, 2013 2:15 PM
The recent confirmation of the Giant Impact Theory from the several hundred kg of rock samples by new methods of analysis could NOT have happened if humans had not gone to the Moon and returned samples with isotope fractionation values which could only have come from a different celestial body than Earth, resulting from a massive impact. The lunar hoax conspiracy theory is now as valid as the Holocaust Hoax, the Martian origin of the Pyramids at Giza, and the wackier ideas of the late Heinrich Himmler. BTW, the existence of Africa is also highly dubious, by similar evidence. The task of Science aka Natural Philosophy is the conversion of category 4 of Auguste Comte’s four types of… Read more »
Robert Paresi
Guest
Robert Paresi
July 19, 2013 5:52 PM

A remnant of a once great nation that used to do amazing things. Now we have all been reduced by political crap like Affirmative Action that is keeping the white man out of work and making room for the immigrants coming here from all over the world. We are further reduced by Affirmative Action which is putting bi-lingual people in Human Services jobs and paying them $2.000-$4,000 a year more than non-bi-lingual people. This seems to be the only requirement regardless of someone’s credentials….”The times they are a changing,” ain’t no joke, “the first one now will later be last”

Tom Linder
Guest
Tom Linder
July 19, 2013 6:35 PM

You’re an imbecile. Your comments have nothing to do with this story. You’re just looking for somewhere to whine and cry.

robinideas1
Guest
robinideas1
July 19, 2013 8:28 PM

ummmmm you know immigrants like Wernher von Braun are the only reason we had a successful space program?

fowlowl1955
Member
fowlowl1955
July 19, 2013 7:21 PM

Though it won’t stop the conspiracy theorists declaring we never went the moon landing in 1969 shows that the USA was once great and can be again if we put aside petty devisiveness. I was one excited and proud space cadet at age 14.

nobikiniatoll
Guest
nobikiniatoll
July 20, 2013 12:38 AM

Xenophobic, racist drivel.

dlacey
Guest
dlacey
July 20, 2013 12:38 AM

Those were extraordinary days, filled with the best and the worst we could conjure up (civil rights, Vietnam, China, the moon, Cambodia, Watergate, . . . ) – all thanks to Lush-Budget Johnson and Tricky Dick Nixon. Now all we have is mediocrity bounded by the placebo President and the maniacs in Congress. Give me a little more of the old style, please. Obama can’t even use the IRS right. If NASA ever goes up again, he and the leaders of Congress should be the crew.

Sam Snedeker
Guest
Sam Snedeker
July 20, 2013 1:05 AM

Yea you just said a Mouth Full My Friend I agree

Sam Snedeker
Guest
Sam Snedeker
July 20, 2013 1:03 AM

Well what do you think of that i read about this over a month ago and now they want to come up with this Lame Sh-T come on give me a break. ??????????????

Bruce
Guest
Bruce
July 20, 2013 8:04 PM

First you’re an idiot – Second it says they “confirmed” it on the eve of… you may very well have read about the finding of it. But the confirmation happens later. But thank all that’s holy we have people like you who are so far ahead of the curve!

SemiahmooWR
Guest
SemiahmooWR
July 20, 2013 1:31 AM

People from China are filling university seats in which the taxpayer pays about 90% of the true tuition costs. That’s the reality about higher education. The student only pays about 10% of what it truly costs to educate them. Many of those Chinese just leave the country on graduation and/or stay loyal to their homeland. Who pays the 90% of their tuition? In part, working class stiffs struggling to make ends meet. They pay the way of the Chinese, the very Chinese that put them out of work. That is truly evil.

Carter Shore
Guest
Carter Shore
July 20, 2013 1:50 PM

Well, SemiahmooWR, that’s total BS, here is the REALITY::
(My wife is Foreign Student Coordinator at a state college)
Both Immigration and Homeland Security regulate foreign students attending classes in US.
The vast majority of foreign students hold F-1 visa.
By law, those students must pay the max tuition, non-resident out of state tuition rates, about 5-10 times what a resident citizen pays.
They are NOT permitted to work or hold a job.
So in fact, the foreign students SUBSIDIZE the resident citizens.
Just thought folks should know ….

Joe G
Guest
Joe G
July 20, 2013 11:21 AM
Actually foreign students pay more, alot more, than students who reside in the state. For example, foreign students attending the University of Washington pay about three times as much as students from Washington State. http://thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/06/international-american-colleges/ According to UW’s dean of admissions the higher fees paid by foreign students is how low-income Washington freshmen (which make up more than 25% of their class) get an education for FREE. With recent cuts in educational funding the high fees paid by foreign students has actually made it possible for more U.S. students to pursue a higher education. During the 2011-2012 school year the 764,495 foreign students attending US universities contributed $22.7 billion to the US economy. That’s money from China and… Read more »
Colin
Guest
Colin
July 19, 2013 10:25 PM

Kerbal Space Program? Lmao

Penney Nile
Guest
Penney Nile
July 20, 2013 3:31 AM

Totally awesome! In 1978, I believe, or somewhere in that vicinity, m,y daughter’s dad, my preteen son and I went to Barksdale Airforce base near Shreveport, LA to see the moon rocks that had been brought back by the Apollo 11 astronauts I THINK it was Apollo 11 that had brought them back… I’m 65 now, and things are sometimes a little muddled in my memory). It was a day of great pride for me, pride in what my country had accomplished. I only wish that the progenitor of the space program, President Kennedy, had lived to see that happen. I think he would have been awfully proud, as well!

JusMoney
Guest
JusMoney
July 21, 2013 9:57 PM

yes penny, the world changed and not for the better when kennedy was murdered.

Penney Nile
Guest
Penney Nile
July 22, 2013 4:11 AM

I completely agree.

Bryan Monteith
Guest
Bryan Monteith
July 20, 2013 12:26 AM

Jeff apparently needs to get some footage of the several LEM module bases left on the lunar surface, There are a crazy amount of wacko conspiracy theorists who still think we staged the moon landing, not once, but several times (who would do that?), and just for fun, an almost disastrous aborted attempt.

philw1776
Guest
philw1776
July 20, 2013 1:00 PM

NASA in the early years had focus. Workers from the assembly line on were dedicated and felt being a part of something valuable and historic. It was OK to be proud of your nation and mankind’s great achievement. The Apollo program epitomized the best in our country and our species. An historic, fleeting time.

Thank you Bezos, Musk, et. al. for re-igniting hope and grand aspirations in some small way.

andrew767
Guest
andrew767
July 20, 2013 3:51 PM

The Apollo mission was the work of good people, but the other Americans were busy corrupting the UN so the US could mine the colony of West New Guinea. Nixon’s tour of Asia and the Apollo mission were being exploited by the worse of America’s businessmen to keep the news media away from the fake ‘act of free choice’, away from the US gold mine, and away from the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of our Pacific War allies in and since 1969.

delphinus100
Guest
delphinus100
July 21, 2013 2:09 AM

There were ^many* things going on at that time, not the least of which were the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War. News ‘distracts’ from news. Even today. There is no need to invoke ‘businessmen’ conspiracies, everyone simply can’t watch everything. It’s always been a busy world, (‘We Didn’t Start the Fire?’) The only differences today are possibly many more news sources, and shorter attention spans…

andrew767
Guest
andrew767
July 21, 2013 2:23 AM
Except Americans did start this fire, it was the US that sent RFJ and then Ellsworth Bunker to create the New York Agreement in 1962 for UN and Indonesian occupation of the colony. It was bonesman McGeorge Bundy who personally told JFK on 1 December 1961 that the US might as well profit from the Indonesian demands for the colony, and it was bonesman Freeport director Robert Lovett who told JFK to appoint Bundy as the national security adviser. Do you really believe that was a coincidence instead of the simple deadly truth that the US and Indonesia are colonial powers? Hundreds of thousands dead, the world’s largest gold mine, and the media is still being kept out… Read more »
Ameriman
Member
Ameriman
July 24, 2013 11:42 AM

andrew767

Adjust your tin foil hat for better reception.

andrew767
Guest
andrew767
July 24, 2013 2:00 PM

Amerman instead of relaying on your tin-foil hat, you could start learning by doing a google on the “New York Agreement”. You may be embarrassed the US support of the Indonesian militay since 1949, but hiding behind your hat isn’t going to stop the military aid or the colonial business relations

Bill Myers
Guest
Bill Myers
July 20, 2013 1:34 PM

Nothing drives a nation like a goal. What is our goal today? To pander to every group, sub-group, minority or clic that thinks they are owed everything from our money to control of the language. Americans got to the moon… not African-Americans, not Italian Americans, not Irish-Americans… Americans. If you don’t identify yourself as one, then you are not. Don’t like my opinion? Good… you won’t like me either.

Paul Cherry
Guest
Paul Cherry
July 20, 2013 1:58 PM

I am amazed how much Neil Armstrong and Bill Paxton favor each other. They should have had Bill play Neil in the miniseries from the “Earth to the Moon” instead of Tony Goldwyn.

ronaldnwalker
Guest
ronaldnwalker
July 20, 2013 10:07 AM

I remember July 20, 1969 as if it was yesterday; although I was only 13
at the time. Neal, Buzz and Mike Collins were my American heroes at a
time when the United States was deeply troubled by the events in
southeast Asia, Ted Kennedy’s swimming off of Martha’s Vineyard, Kent
State. You know the rest of the story if you were at least 57 years
old.

Bradley
Guest
Bradley
July 20, 2013 5:15 PM

The first moonwalk was on July 21st, not July 20th.

gwats1957
Guest
gwats1957
July 20, 2013 5:52 PM

Apollo 11 touched on the moon on my 12th birthday, 7/20/1969. I thought we would have gone to Mars already!

Ameriman
Member
Ameriman
July 24, 2013 11:37 AM

Bloated, pork driven, Federal Agency big govt Nasa has frittered away the 40 years and $500 billion since Apollo ended…
Govt screws up, corrupts whatever it touches…
We need private enterprise efficiency, innovation, spirit to do what big govt Nasa has failed so miserably at… opening up space for Americans.

Private enterprise developed US aviation… 50 years after the Wright Bros, tens of thousands of Americans flew worldwide safely and affordably…

Big Govt Nasa grabbed a monopoly on US space.. 50 years after John Glenn, only a few hundred Govt selected ‘astronauts’ have flown, at over $1 billion taxpayer dollars EACH.

Chris
Guest
Chris
July 27, 2013 11:51 PM

The Gov’t also tried its hand at building the first aeroplane, Samuel Pierpont Langley received a War Department grant of $50,000 and $20,000 from the Smithsonian to develop a piloted airplane. Gold was $20 an ounce back then, equivalent to 3,500 ounces of gold, and at today’s price for gold ($1334/oz), $4,669,000 in today’s dollars.

Whereas two clever men working in their bicycle shop did it for considerably less money, and sold their first aeroplane to the government for $30,000.

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