In March of this year, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos discovered, at the bottom of the Atlantic, giant F-1 engines that he believed propelled Neil Armstrong and the team of Apollo 11 to the moon. Bezos raised them to the surface, and after months of clearing the engines of corrosion, today announced his team has identified a serial number on one of the blasters: 2044. The discovery confirms the engine is indeed from Apollo 11.
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 No. 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.
The announcement’s timing could not be better: Tomorrow marks the 44th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the lunar surface.
[Image: Flickr user David DeHetre]