Amazon CEO Jeff Bezo's side project, Bezos Expeditions, suspected that the F-1 engine recovered from the bottom of the Atlantic was part of the Apollo 11 mission, but years of saltwater corrosion had buried any forms of identification. Now, just a day before the 44th anniversary of Neil Armstrong taking the first step on the moon, it has been confirmed that the recovered parts formed the engine that helped propel the spacecraft to our nearest celestial body.
It was four simple numbers that helped determine the origin of the objects: 2044. One of the conservators was scanning the pieces with a special light and uncovered the numbers written in black paint on the side of one of the thrust chambers. Further investigation revealed the complete phrase, "Unit No 2044," which is the serial number for F-1 Engine #5 from Apollo 11.
"a critical technological marvel that made it all possible."
Bezos Expeditions discovered the artifact at the bottom of the Atlantic ocean last year. The pieces were successfully recovered in March and were then sent to the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center for conservation.
Bezos writes, "44 years ago tomorrow Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon, and now we have recovered a critical technological marvel that made it all possible."