Sunday, March 24, 2013

Rocket Man

After lying on the ocean floor for more than 40yrs, two Apollo rocket engines have again seen the light of day.
A team organised by billionaire Jeff Bezos spent 3 weeks recovering the corroded F-1 engines, which sat more than 4km beneath the Atlantic. Bezos doesn't know precisely which Apollo mission the engines flew on as their original serial numbers are missing, but he hopes they're the Apollo 11 engines that took the first men to the moon.
Bezos (founder/CEO of announced his intentions to pull the Space Age relics up from the depths almost a year ago. Little has been heard about the mission since...until success was announced this week. Bezos used private funds to raise the engines from their resting places 4,267m below the surface of the ocean, but he maintains they remain the property of NASA.
Each F-1 engine is nearly 6m tall, 4m wide and more than 8,000kg. They produced 7.7m pounds of thrust and lifted the gigantic Saturn V (the largest and most powerful rocket ever built in the US) to nearly 58km above the Earth to a speed of almost 10,000km/hr.
See ya later!
+ ...meanwhile, Voyager 1 may have left our solar system. Huge changes in radiation levels measured by the probe confirm it's travelled beyond our sun's influence.
V1 and sister probe V2 launched 35yrs ago on a tour of the outer planets: V2's now 9 billion miles from the sun. The faster V1 is now more than 11 billion miles away: it's signals take approx.17hrs to reach Earth.

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