Web

Amazon CEO and his Expeditions team recover Apollo 11’s F-1 engines from ocean floor

bezos expeditions 1It’s probably not the kind of thing you’d find on most people’s to-do list, but for Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, diving to the ocean floor to recover the engines of the space rocket that helped take humans to the moon for the very first time was an adventure he couldn’t resist.

Of course, Bezos himself didn’t don a wet suit and single-handedly pull the Apollo 11 engines to the surface, though he may well have looked into the possibility. Instead, the feat was accomplished by the Bezos Expeditions team, a ship called Seabed Worker and several rather boringly named Remotely Operated Vehicles (aka ROVs).

“We’ve seen an underwater wonderland – an incredible sculpture garden of twisted F-1 engines that tells the story of a fiery and violent end, one that serves testament to the Apollo program,” billionaire Bezos wrote on his Expeditions blog on Wednesday. “We photographed many beautiful objects in situ and have now recovered many prime pieces. Each piece we bring on deck conjures for me the thousands of engineers who worked together back then to do what for all time had been thought surely impossible.”

bezos expeditions 3

Bezos and his team located the engines – part of the Apollo 11 rocket that took Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins to the moon in July 1969 – on the seabed 14,000 feet below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, about 360 miles from the rocket’s launch site in Cape Canaveral.

Writing about the technology that helped bring the engines to the surface, Bezos, who was just five when the first manned moon mission took place, said the ROVs were tethered to the Seabed Worker “with fiber optics for data and electric cables transmitting power at more than 4,000 volts.” He added, “We on the team were often struck by poetic echoes of the lunar missions. The buoyancy of the ROVs looks every bit like microgravity. The blackness of the horizon. The gray and colorless ocean floor. Only the occasional deep sea fish broke the illusion.”

The recovered engines, which Bezos described as “gorgeous”, will be restored to stabilize the hardware and prevent further corrosion.

“We want the hardware to tell its true story, including its 5,000 mile per hour re-entry and subsequent impact with the ocean surface,” the Amazon founder said. “We’re excited to get this hardware on display where just maybe it will inspire something amazing.”

Commenting on Bezos’s efforts to recover the engines, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said, “This is a historic find and I congratulate the team for its determination and perseverance in the recovery of these important artifacts of our first efforts to send humans beyond Earth orbit.”

bezos expeditions 4
Emerging Tech

Scientists use drone to map Icelandic cave in preparation for Mars exploration

Researchers from the SETI Institute and Astrobotic Technology have demonstrated a way that astronauts may be able to map Martian caves using a Lidar-equipped drone that can travel autonomously without GPS.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in several genres for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Emerging Tech

A lunar time capsule: 50-year-old moon rock samples to be opened for study

Nearly 50 years after the Apollo missions to the Moon, NASA is breaking open samples of Moon rock for the first time. Samples collected from Apollo missions 15, 16, and 17 have been preserved and never before exposed to Earth's atmosphere.
Social Media

New Zealand attack shows that as A.I. filters get smarter, so do violators

The shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand were livestreamed to social media, and while stats show networks are improving at removing offending videos, as the system improves, so do the violators' workarounds.
Computing

Edit, sign, append, and save with six of the best PDF editors

Though there are plenty of PDF editors to be had online, finding a solution with the tools you need can be tough. Here are the best PDF editors for your editing needs, no matter your budget or operating system.
Computing

Firefox 66 is here and it will soon block irritating autoplay videos

Do web advertisements have you frustrated? Mozilla is here to help. The latest version of the browser will soon block autoplaying videos by default and will also help make web page scrolling smoother.
Movies & TV

No TV? No problem. Here's how to watch the Final Four online

Whether you want to watch the Big Dance on your phone or on your smart TV, we have the lowdown on all the ways to watch March Madness you can handle. Grab your foam finger and some nachos.
Business

Patreon is having another go at changing the way it charges creators

Patreon messed up pretty badly the last time it tried to change its payment system. Now it's having another go, though this time the changes mainly affect future sign-ups rather than its current community of creators.
Computing

Pinning websites to your taskbar is as easy as following these quick steps

Would you like to know how to pin a website to the taskbar in Windows 10 in order to use browser links like apps? Whichever browser you're using, it's easier than you might think. Here's how to get it done.
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. But with so many subreddits to choose from, exploring them can be overwhelming. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.
Computing

Confused about RSS? Don't be. Here's what it is and how to use it

What is an RSS feed, anyway? This traditional method of following online news is still plenty useful. Let's take a look at what RSS means, and what advantages it has in today's busy world.
Computing

Don’t be fooled! Study exposes most popular phishing email subject lines

Phishing emails are on the rise and a new study out by the cybersecurity company Barracuda has exposed some of the most common phishing email subject lines used to exploit businesses. 
Web

How much!? British Airways glitch results in $4.2M quote for family vacation

Website errors sometimes cause flight prices to display at way below the correct price. But British Airways recently experienced the opposite issue when it tried to charge a family more than $4 million for a vacation in Mexico.