Apollo Returns from the Abyss


July/August 2013

ApolloEngineBetween 1968 and 1972, NASA successfully launched 11 manned Apollo missions, six of which landed on the surface of the moon. Each time, the F-1 rocket engines used to power them into orbit were jettisoned into the Atlantic at 5,000 miles per hour, minutes after liftoff. Jeff Bezos, billionaire founder of, recently funded a deep-water mission to recover some of these relics of the space race.



In late March 2013, Bezos, who credits the Apollo program with inspiring his technological ambitions, revealed that his team’s three-week expedition recovered enough parts to reassemble two engines from “an incredible sculpture garden of twisted F-1 engines” sitting three miles underwater. The parts, which are the property of NASA, are undergoing restoration that will hopefully reveal serial numbers that could tie them to specific missions.