Moon rocket engines recovered

Click through scenes from Bezos Expeditions' recovery of historic Saturn 5 rocket engines from the Atlantic Ocean floor.

Salvagers backed by billionaire Jeff Bezos have recovered components from the Apollo moon program's F-1 rocket engines - historic artifacts that sat at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean for decades. Remotely operated vehicles played a key role in the operation. This ROV snapshot shows the structure of the Saturn 5 rocket's first stage.

The massive heat exchanger from an F-1 rocket engine is brought aboard the Seabed Worker. The artifacts will be restored at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, according to a spokesman for Jeff Bezos.

The nozzle hat band from an F-1 rocket engine gets a washing.

Josh Bernstein

A crumpled rocket engine nozzle lies on the ocean floor. The Saturn 5's first stage fired its engines for two and a half minutes after launch, and then was jettisoned to let the second stage take over during ascent. The first stage fell through the atmosphere at speeds of up to 5,000 mph and plunged into the Atlantic.

A worker directs the spray from a hose onto the injector and liquid-oxygen dome from an F-1 rocket engine. The artifacts were recovered in "gorgeous" condition after more than 40 years on the Atlantic Ocean floor, Jeff Bezos says.

The thrust chamber from an F-1 rocket engine sits on the bottom of the ocean. NASA says the F-1 engine was the most powerful single-nozzle, liquid-fueld rocket engine ever developed. Five of the engines were used on the Saturn 5 rocket's first stage.

Salvage workers check out the thrust chamber from an F-1 rocket engine aboard the Seabed Worker. "Each piece we bring on deck conjures for me the thousands of engineers who worked together back then to do what for all time had been thought surely impossible," Jeff Bezos says.

Workers examine the gas generator and manifold from an F-1 rocket engine. NASA says it is once again looking at the large gas generator cycle engine to help develop America's next heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System.

The turbine for an F-1 rocket engine sits on the Seabed Worker's deck. Each of the Saturn 5 rocket's first-stage engines stood 19 feet tall by 12 feet wide and weighed over 18,000 pounds. Five of the engines generated the 7.5 million pounds of thrust needed to lift the Saturn 5 and its Apollo crew off the launch pad.

Workers wash off the thrust chamber and fuel manifold from an F-1 rocket engine recovered from the Atlantic Ocean. After restoration, the engines are expected to be put on display at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum and the Seattle Museum of Flight as an inspiration for future generations.

Josh Bernstein