(WHNT) - Some of the F-1 engines that helped put the first humans on the moon have been recovered from the bottom of the Atlantic.
Amazon.com billionaire Jeff Bezos has used part of his personal fortune to recover parts to the Saturn V more than four decades after they hurtled down to the bottom of the ocean.
"We've seen an underwater wonderland — an incredible sculpture garden of twisted F-1 engines that tells the story of a fiery and violent end, one that serves testament to the Apollo program," Bezos said Wednesday.
Almost a year ago, Bezos announced that sonar scans had revealed the first-stage engines that were used for the historic Apollo 11 launch in 1969. Soon, after recovering much of the wreckage, restoration begin.
The upcoming restoration will stabilize the hardware and prevent further corrosion," Bezos said. "We want the hardware to tell its true story, including its 5,000 mile per hour re-entry and subsequent impact with the ocean surface. We’re excited to get this hardware on display where just maybe it will inspire something amazing."
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden released a statement congratulating Bezos and his team on the recovery: "Nearly one year ago, Jeff Bezos shared with us his plans to recover F-1 engines that helped power Apollo astronauts to the moon in the late 1960s and early 1970s. We share the excitement expressed by Jeff and his team in announcing the recovery of two of the powerful Saturn V first-stage engines from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean."
The F-1 remains the most powerful American liquid-fuel rocket engine ever developed. The F-1 still holds the record as the largest single-chamber, single-nozzle liquid fuel engine ever flown.