Museum displays historic Apollo 12, 16 rocket engines

On the anniversary of the Apollo 12 Moon landing on Nov. 19, 1969, the Museum of Flight made the first public showing of the restored remains of the F-1 rocket engines used to launch NASA´s historic Apollo 12 and Apollo 16 missions to the Moon.

The engines were recovered from the sea by Seattle-based Bezos Expeditions in 2013 and have been under conservation at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center. At the request of the Bezos Expeditions team, NASA has now given the artifacts to the Museum for permanent display in Seattle.

These engines boosted the 40-story Saturn V rocket from liftoff until the edge of space, then separated with the first stage of the rocket and fell 40 miles through the atmosphere and into the depths of the Atlantic Ocean. Subsequent stages of the rocket propelled the Apollo spacecraft into orbit and on to the Moon. For the next 43 years the F-1 engines were deeper than the wreck of the Titanic.

Bezos Expeditions found and recovered the engines from the bottom of the Atlantic in 2013.

“It took a lot of 21st century underwater tech and an extraordinary team of skilled professionals to find and recover these historical treasures and, thanks to them, NASA, and The Museum of Flight, now a whole new generation of young people will be able to see these amazing engines on display,” said Jeff Bezos, founder of Bezos Expeditions. “When I was five years old I watched Neil Armstrong step onto the moon and it imprinted me with a passion for science and exploration. It´s my hope that these engines might spark a similar passion in a child who sees them today.”

Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2015, the independent, non-profit Museum of Flight is one of the largest air and space museums in the world, serving more than 560,000 visitors annually. The museum is located at 9404 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle, Exit 158 off Interstate 5 on Boeing Field halfway between downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac Airport.