You’ve likely seen them countless times on video: The rocket engines that drove America to space and even to the moon, the F-1 engine. But you’ve never seen the actual engines themselves. They were designed to be jettisoned into the ocean, never to be found by either private investor or Russian spy. It was thought that trying to dredge up the engines would be too much work and they’d be too hard to find.
Unless you happen to be Jeff Bezos.
Bezos, when he’s not busy running the biggest retail outlet on the planet, is a space fan: He owns a space exploration startup called Blue Origin which actually shocked a lot of people when it crashed a prototype in 2011 because holy crap, the Amazon guy built a freaking spaceship. In fact, his idea is to build cheap, reliable technologies to make space flight as common as getting a pizza.
Needless to say, though, finding the F-1 engines is more about the past than the future. That said, the fact that he spent a lot of his own money to dig up one of the single greatest artifacts of human achievement ever made is… generous, to make the understatement of the year.
Unfortunately, we’re not sure they’re the Apollo 11 engines just yet:
Many of the original serial numbers are missing or partially missing, which is going to make mission identification difficult. We might see more during restoration.
But, really, who cares? Every one of these engines took humanity into space, and helped change the course of human history. They’re undeniably important.
Almost as important as Buzz Aldrin being badass: