Jeff Bezos' company, Bezos Expeditions, confirmed this morning that the F-1 rocket motor recovered from the Atlantic is, in fact, one of the motors from the Saturn V rocket that put the first men on the moon. And I bet he'll be making love to it very soon.
The engine components were raised from the ocean floor back in March, and it's taken a great deal of work by highly skilled conservators, but serial numbers have been found to definitively peg the engine as having been a part of the Saturn V used for Apollo 11.
Bezos describes the process of discovering the engine's origin on his blog:
Today, I’m thrilled to share some exciting news. 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 #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.
That is absolutely exciting, and this is a major piece of space history. The engine found was the center engine of the cluster of five in the Saturn V's first stage, and ran for about 120 seconds total, burning four and a half million pounds of propellant in its short, powerful life.
The engine will eventually become part of a display of flown F-1 engines at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson, Kansas, but before then special Jalopnik Intention-Predicting Software (JIPS) running on the Jalopnik mainframe predicts that Bezos and the F-1 engine will make sweet, sweet love sometime tomorrow, the 44th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
JIPS simulations suggest that Bezos, who really really really really really loves Apollo 11 history, will have the engines specially cleaned, prepped, and delivered to an ocean-facing room in a Florida hotel, not far from the original Cape Canaveral launch site. Data suggests Bezos will consume champagne, with a 31% probability of him pouring the champagne down a fuel intake manifold of the engine.
There is also a 52% chance of a tearful profession of admiration for the F-1 engine, and a 76% probability that the lovemaking will begin in earnest shortly following.
The JIPS results predict that Bezos will be extremely satisfied with the encounter, though the F-1's satisfaction index has so far only reached 39%.
We'll update with more results as soon as they're processed, and video of the actual event, should it in fact occur.