Entries in Apollo (2)


Amazon CEO Recovers NASA's Apollo Engines from Bottom of Atlantic

Bezos Expeditions(CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.) -- Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos announced Wednesday that his underwater expedition had successfully recovered the mangled wreckage of two rocket engines from NASA’s Apollo program from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

After spending three weeks at sea, Bezos wrote on his personal blog that he and his team were heading back to Cape Canaveral, in Florida, with a treasure trove of NASA artifacts from the space era.

“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 wrote.

Bezos’ team used remotely operated vehicles to dive down 14,000 feet (almost three miles) to the dark depths of the ocean floor, where they recovered “major components” of two Saturn V F-1 rocket engines flown during the Apollo program (1963-’72). The program included lunar missions and earth orbiting missions, most famously Apollo 11, which sent Neil Armstrong to the moon in 1969.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement to ABC News that Bezos approached the space agency nearly a year ago with his plan to recover the engines and praised the team’s efforts.

“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,” Bolden said. ”This is a historic find and I congratulate the team for its determination and perseverance in the recovery of these important artifacts of our first efforts to send humans beyond Earth orbit.”

After decades of being exposed to water, many of the engine components are missing serial numbers or pieces, “which is going to make mission identification difficult,” Bezos wrote.

NASA will work with the expedition team to restore the engine hardware and prevent further corrosion. Bezos hopes to then put the engines on display.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


American Flags from Apollo Missions Still Standing

NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University(WASHINGTON) -- American flags planted on the moon by Apollo astronauts are still standing, still casting shadows.

NASA sent six crews to land on the moon between 1969 and 1972.  New photos from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter show all flags standing except the one posted by Apollo 11. That was not a surprise; astronaut Buzz Aldrin had reported he saw the flag blown over by the exhaust from their ship’s engine as they left the lunar surface.

“Personally I was a bit surprised that the flags survived the harsh ultraviolet light and temperatures of the lunar surface, but they did,” Mark Robinson, the principal investigator for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC), said in a blog post.  Robinson suggests on his blog that the flags are most likely badly faded.

The images taken by the LROC are the sharpest ever taken in space, according to NASA.

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter was launched in June 2009.  It circles the moon, often from altitudes of less than 20 miles, exploring the moon’s environment to prepare for future expeditions.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio