Historic Apollo 11 rocket engines found on ocean floor by Jeff Bezos and team

Amazon founder and space entrepreneur Jeff Bezos announces on his blog that the Apollo 11 rocket engines which propelled Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the moon in 1969—making them the first humans on the moon—have been found on the bottom of the Atlantic ocean by Bezos' research team. Next step? Finding a way to safely recover the long-lost engines, and bring them back to the surface.


Millions of people were inspired by the Apollo Program. I was five years old when I watched Apollo 11 unfold on television, and without any doubt it was a big contributor to my passions for science, engineering, and exploration. A year or so ago, I started to wonder, with the right team of undersea pros, could we find and potentially recover the F-1 engines that started mankind's mission to the moon?

I'm excited to report that, using state-of-the-art deep sea sonar, the team has found the Apollo 11 engines lying 14,000 feet below the surface, and we're making plans to attempt to raise one or more of them from the ocean floor. We don't know yet what condition these engines might be in - they hit the ocean at high velocity and have been in salt water for more than 40 years. On the other hand, they're made of tough stuff, so we'll see.

Read more at his Bezos Expeditions blog.


  1. If those engines are as made-of-beryllium as certain other high performance rocket engines, I’ll be more than happy to let somebody else touch them and find out what sort of interesting corrosion products flake off…

  2. Certainly a find of true historic importance.  

    The F-1 engines- Burning 6000 lbs of fuel per second!
    Sounds like my old Dodge Ram pick-up :)

  3. What I’m wondering is why they talk about the 5 engines as separate things?  The engines were presumably still attached to the first stage when they hit the ocean.  Did they all break off on impact with the water?  Did Bezos and team find the rest of the first stage too?

    1. It’s entirely possible that the aluminum structure which was the first stage has completely deteriorated…the engines – and particularly the nozzles — were far tougher than the rocket’s cylinder. They had to survive several minutes of extremely high temperature, whereas the cylinder did not; it only had to survive extreme cold.

      And, yes, they could have broken free upon impact at several hundred miles per hour.

  4. Dear Jeff:  There’s a huge garbage patch floating on top of the ocean.  If you would like to spend millions of dollars cleaning up some junk, try there first.  Thanks, Dan

    1. Waaahhhh!  Someone found something interesting or historic on their own dime, and I don’t like it!

      1. The difficulty with jokes is that not everyone is smart enough to get them.  Besides, Jeff doesn’t have to go far or spend anything to find something interesting and historic:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garbology.

      2.  Waaahhhh!  Someone made me think about current reality when all I wanted to do was think about history, and I don’t like it!

    2. Yeah, it’s actually not “floating on top of the ocean,” unless you consider the top of the ocean to be merely the parts that are closer to the surface than the bottom.

    1. Thank god then that hes sharing it with divers, boat owners, captains, crews, engineers, and everyone else involved. Its not like he’s burning the money in a campfire. Hes giving it to other people how he sees fit. Those people pay taxes. All is fair.

  5. Between Bezos and Cameron, all millionaires that don’t do things like this should be ashamed of themselves. This is how to behave.

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