Four months ago when Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his crew at Bezos Expeditions went artifact hunting on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean, they knew they had found major components from two F-1 rocket engines. Now they have positively identified them.
After having to endure the heat of launching the rocket into space and the corrosion of sitting at the bottom of the ocean, much of the original serial numbers and indentification marks were obscured or completely gone.
But in a statement released yesterday on their blog, Bexos announced;
"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. 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."
"44 years ago tomorrow Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon, and now we have recovered a critical technological marvel that made it all possible. Huge kudos to the conservation team at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson, Kansas. Conservation is painstaking work that requires remarkable levels of patience and attention to detail, and these guys have both."
Not bad for a guy who started selling books online. Not bad at all.