"What an incredible adventure. We are right now onboard the Seabed Worker headed back to Cape Canaveral after finishing three weeks at sea, working almost 3 miles below the surface. We found so much," says Amazon.com founder, billionaire Jeff Bezos of his expedition to recover the Apollo 11 F-1 rocket engine. "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. We photographed many beautiful objects in situ and have now recovered many prime pieces. Each piece we bring on deck conjures for me the thousands of engineers who worked together back then to do what for all time had been thought surely impossible."
On July 16, 1969, the world watched as five particular F-1 engines fired in concert powering the mighty Saturn V rockets, beginning the historic Apollo 11 mission. Those five F-1s burned for just a few minutes, and then plunged back to Earth into the Atlantic Ocean, just as NASA planned. A few days later, Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon.
The image below is the thrust chamber of one of five first stage F-1 rocket engines used to launch one of NASA's mighty Saturn V rocket on a historic Apollo moon mission is seen on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean.
The technology used for the recovery is in its own way as space-age as the Apollo technology itself. The Remotely Operated Vehicles worked at a depth of more than 14,000 feet, tethered to the ship with fiber optics for data and electric cables transmitting power at more than 4,000 volts.
As Bezos writes: "We on the team were often struck by poetic echoes of the lunar missions. The buoyancy of the ROVs looks every bit like microgravity. The blackness of the horizon. The gray and colorless ocean floor. Only the occasional deep sea fish broke the illusion."
"I was five years old when I watched Apollo 11 unfold on television," Bezos says, "and without any doubt it was a big contributor to my passions for science, engineering, and exploration. A year or so ago, I started to wonder, with the right team of undersea pros, could we find and potentially recover the F-1 engines that started mankind's mission to the moon?"
The Daily Galaxy via http://www.bezosexpeditions.com/updates.html