A team of undersea searchers funded by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos has located the rocket engines that powered the manned trip to the moon in 1969, and now plans to recover them, he said.
"I'm excited to report that, using state-of-the-art deep sea sonar, the team has found the Apollo 11 engines lying 14,000 feet (4,200 metres) below the surface, and we're making plans to attempt to raise one or more of them from the ocean floor," he wrote on his blog site, Bezosexpeditions.com, on Wednesday.
Bezos, 48, who is worth 18 billion dollars according to Forbes, did not say how much the effort was likely to cost but pointed out that the massive 32-million-horsepower engines remain the property of the US space agency NASA.
"We don't know yet what condition these engines might be in - they hit the ocean at high velocity and have been in salt water for more than 40 years. On the other hand, they're made of tough stuff, so we'll see," he wrote.
Bezos said he hoped NASA would exhibit the first engine at the Smithsonian Museum of Air and Space in Washington DC and that if more were recovered he would ask for one to be displayed in the Museum of Flight in Seattle, where Amazon.com is based.
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