Apollo Engine Artifacts Restored, Donated To Museum Of Flight


Pieces of the F-1 rocket engines that launched the Apollo 12 mission 46 years ago are at The Museum of Flight in Seattle after undergoing a 2 1/2-year restoration. An injector plate was among the pieces unveiled by entrepreneur Jeff Bezos in November as part of the future exhibit, which will include Apollo mission artifacts recovered from the Atlantic Ocean by Bezos Expeditions. They were restored at the Kansas Cosmosphere & Space Center, which converted space at its facility into a laboratory large enough to accommodate the pieces. Jim Remar, president and COO of the Cosmosphere, told AVweb the project was particularly challenging due to the size and condition of the engine components, which weighed more than 25,000 pounds. Some items are several feet tall and weigh two tons. “No one had any idea what they were going to find at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean,” he said.

Image: Kansas Cosmosphere & Space Center

The artifacts will become part of a permanent display in Seattle that will include the story of the Apollo 12 moon landing on Nov. 19, 1969. Visitors will be able to see the injector plate there on temporary display until Jan 4, 2016, after which it will return to storage until the permanent exhibit opens in early 2017. The F-1 engines powered the Saturn V rocket’s launch, then separated and fell into the ocean. Bezos, CEO of Amazon and a lifelong spaceflight enthusiast, also is founder of the commercial space launch company Blue Origin, which is developing orbital space vehicles.

Listen to AVweb’s interview with Jim Remar here.