The engines of the Saturn V rocket, recovered from the bottom of the Atlantic ocean by a recovery project led by Amazon.com’s Jeff Bezos, are undergoing preservation efforts at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center.
The corroded F-1 engines propelled the enormous Saturn V, still the largest and most powerful rocket ever built in the U.S. Each engine produced 7.7 million pounds of thrust and reached a top speed of 10,000 km/hr. Bezos’ Expeditions F-1 Recovery Project brought the artifact pieces to Kansas, where they are being carefully cleaned and preserved. Some of the relics are the size of a dime while others weigh more than 900 kilograms.
Working with aerospace engineers from Wichita State University, the museum is scanning all the components and building a virtual 3-D CAD model that will assist in reconstructing the engines. The researchers stress that they are not restoring the parts to their original condition, which would require meticulously erasing 40 years worth of accumulated oceanic damage. Instead, their intent is to conserve the artifacts in their present state and prevent them from degrading further. Once in good condition, the pieces will be displayed at other museums around the country.
Story: Adam Mann, Wired | Photo: Wired