Conservator found serial number of Apollo 11 rocket engine
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos had sought to confirm engines were from that famous mission
A Bezos-led team recovered the engines in March from the depths of the Atlantic
Saturday marks the 44th anniversary of the 1969 moon landing
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos rescued sunken treasure in the Atlantic this year: components of two F-1 rocket engines. Now he says he has verified that they are engines from Apollo 11, the first mission that took U.S. astronauts to the moon.
The timing, as Bezos is aware, is appropriate. Saturday is the anniversary of the 1969 moon landing.
“44 years ago tomorrow Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon, and now we have recovered a critical technological marvel that made it all possible,” Bezos wrote on his blog.
Bezos congratulated the conservation team at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson, Kansas, for its efforts.
One of the conservators discovered that the number “2044” had been stenciled in black paint on the side of one of the massive thrust chambers. He found it while using a black light and a special lens filter.
This 2044 was not a mystery. According to Bezos, it corresponds to NASA number 6044, the serial number for F-1 Engine No. 5 from the Apollo 11 mission.
The conservator continued his work on this thrust chamber and, after removing more corrosion, found a stamp on the metal surface that said “Unit No 2044.”
“Conservation is painstaking work that requires remarkable levels of patience and attention to detail, and these guys have both,” Bezos said of the Kansas conservators.