The Apollo F-1 Engine Recovery

Mar 06 2014

Area 17 Engine  with Rat Tail_webWe had located our first engine. The engine was heavily damaged with no identifying features visible. We decided to move on to the next debris field in hopes of finding an intact engine with a serial number which would confirm the mission origin.

The sonar specialist provided the corrected target position to the navigator who plugged coordinates into the navigation software. The ROV pilot turned and slowly applied forward thrust on a heading that would take him to the next debris field. Three miles above the ship very slowly, the navigator followed the same track in a coordinated maneuver. The ROV could only range a short distance from directly below the support vessel, so both needed to move in concert and thus the coordinated, simultaneous effort.

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Operations of the F-1 Engine Recovery

Feb 27 2014

Bermuda

The recovery team arrived in Bermuda a few days ahead of the ship. The hours were filled with dozens of logistical items requiring attention, including the storage of spare equipment, last minute loading of fresh food and numerous planning sessions. Team leaders met to finalize plans for operations aboard the ship. 

The Seabed Worker would stay in Bermuda less than eight hours and the transition had to flow smoothly to ensure a timely departure. Transit to the recovery site would take just over 30 hours, and our final destination would put us approximately mid-way between Bermuda and Cape Canaveral, Florida. 

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The Right Stuff for a Deepwater Recovery

Feb 25 2014

Attempting to recover three massive Apollo F-1 engines in water depths over 14,000 feet or 4,300 meters is no easy feat. Marine salvage is a highly specialized skill with only a handful of experienced companies able to execute deepwater salvage. The challenge was to locate the assets which could successfully recover rocket motors potentially weighing nine tonsBottom View Saturn V from the deep ocean.

So what’s it take to recover three nine-ton engines from over 14,000 fsw (feet of sea water) in the deep ocean?

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Finding An Apollo Rocket Engine in the Deep Ocean

Aug 23 2013

Apollo Lift OffUndeniably one of last century’s greatest achievements was man stepping foot on the moon. And while technology continues marching forward, there is one famous icon of those lunar landings that has not yet been bested. The F-1 rocket engine is still the most powerful single chamber, liquid-fueled rocket engine ever developed. One of the engines which propelled Neil Armstrong to that famous first step, is now lovingly being restored at the Kansas Cosmosphere & Space Center.

 

 

 

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How Do you Recover An Apollo Rocket Engine from 3 Miles Beneath the Bermuda Triangle?

Aug 16 2013

Apollo Lift OffOne single footprint represents mankind’s greatest scientific achievement. An image of that human spoor cast in lunar dust is interminably linked with Neil Armstrong’s famous quote: “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.” It was not just America’s step but a leap for mankind. Such a simple movement and yet so many technical achievements were required to make that first step on the moon’s surface possible. Advances in materials, water purification, medicine and especially great leaps in computer technology all played a part in the unprecedented mission. It’s hard to believe, but current computing power has multiplied to such an extent that your mobile phone has more processing capability than the lunar lander.

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