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Jeff Bezos To Retrieve Apollo 11 Rocket Engines

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the with-only-a-wetsuit-and-a-pair-of-flippers dept.

Space 107

Hugh Pickens writes "AFP reports that Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos plans to retrieve the F-1 engines that rocketed astronaut Neil Armstrong and his crew toward the moon in 1969. 'We're making plans to attempt to raise one or more of them from the ocean floor,' Bezos wrote in his blog at BezosExpeditions.com. '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.' Bezos wrote that he was five years old when Armstrong made history during the Apollo 11 mission by becoming the first person to set foot on the moon, and 'without any doubt it was a big contributor to my passions for science, engineering, and exploration.' Bezos stressed that he is using private funds to try to raise the F-1 engines from their resting places 14,000 feet (4,267 meters) below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, and that they remain the property of NASA. 'I imagine that NASA would decide to make it available to the Smithsonian (National Air and Space Museum) for all to see.' Bezos's efforts come just days after Titanic director James Cameron became the first person in 40 years to descend to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the ocean's deepest point, in a privately-funded expedition."

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cue dread pirate bezos jokes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39507697)

cue dread pirate bezos jokes

Evita's on the horizon (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39507699)

Can we please go back to decent central funding of scientific endeavour - particularly in space - rather than all this stupid pet projects from people who got lucky and have more money than sense? The Soviets dragged themselves from backwater feudal estate to technocratic superpower in 20 years - and China similarly - because they understood the value of education and science. They didn't think that "the market" would advance them.

Re:Evita's on the horizon (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 2 years ago | (#39507913)

Why is the project stupid?

Re:Evita's on the horizon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39507977)

In the narrower sense, it's a waste of money (no, "it's his money and he can do what he wants with it" isn't a get-out clause for stupidity).

In the wider sense, read subject line.

Re:Evita's on the horizon (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39508031)

"it's his money and he can do what he wants with it" isn't a get-out clause for stupidity

It's no excuse, but, in the western society, is as near you can get to an absolute rule and an hard fact.

Re:Evita's on the horizon (3, Insightful)

trongey (21550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39508285)

Money is only wasted if you throw it in a pile and burn it. If it gets spent on something, regardless of how silly, then it stays in circulation; somebody will be using it to buy groceries, pay the mortgage, take his kids to the doctor, etc. A bunch of people will be employed on this project, and a bunch of companies will be selling goods and services. This is exactly the kind of stuff we want rich people to be doing with their money.

Re:Evita's on the horizon (0)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39508463)

Money is only wasted if you throw it in a pile and burn it. If it gets spent on something, regardless of how silly, then it stays in circulation; somebody will be using it to buy groceries, pay the mortgage, take his kids to the doctor, etc. A bunch of people will be employed on this project, and a bunch of companies will be selling goods and services. This is exactly the kind of stuff we want rich people to be doing with their money.

Someone's going to bring up the fact that you just described the broken window fallacy, so I'll preempt it:

1) It looks like you've fallen afoul of the broken window fallacy, but
2) the broken window fallacy only has meaning if the money would otherwise have been spent on something more meaningful than fixing your metaphorical broken window. Considering that this is reality, not Metaphorland, the broken window fallacy hardly ever has bearing on any situation.

In conclusion, I think you're exactly right.

Re:Evita's on the horizon (2)

tophermeyer (1573841) | more than 2 years ago | (#39510531)

Especially in this case, where the retrieval effort is happening in an environment that 1) is rich with exploitable resources and 2) we don't have a lot of experience working in.

As far as I'm concerned, any project that lets us learn a little more about living and working on the ocean floor is money well spent.

Re:Evita's on the horizon (2)

Specter (11099) | more than 2 years ago | (#39515949)

Technically the broken window fallacy doesn't apply. The BWF requires you break a previously unbroken window for the specific purpose of paying someone to fix it. It's a fallacy, in part, because it ignores the fact that you're destroying something of value at the same time you're creating all this theoretical economic benefit.

Nothing of value was destroyed in this case with the intention of creating economic activity in the recovery/salvage operation. (The loss of the booster is a sunk cost of the launch; I would imagine no recovery was ever expected.) Now, you could argue spending money to recover the booster not the most efficient way to generate economic benefit (and I'd agree) but it's not really a case of BWF.

The more interesting question to me is: what does the Law of the Sea have to say about ownership of the wreck? If it's a wreck in international waters, I would have assumed the person to salvage it would be the owner.

Re:Evita's on the horizon (1)

Princeofcups (150855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39511985)

Money is only wasted if you throw it in a pile and burn it. If it gets spent on something, regardless of how silly, then it stays in circulation; somebody will be using it to buy groceries, pay the mortgage, take his kids to the doctor, etc. A bunch of people will be employed on this project, and a bunch of companies will be selling goods and services. This is exactly the kind of stuff we want rich people to be doing with their money.

Absurd. Money is not some mineral. It's a concept used to quantify the value of work and products. And what we have here is a waste of both. Man hours and resources are being squandered.

Re:Evita's on the horizon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39514097)

> Money is only wasted if you throw it in a pile and burn it.
I'm using the fire to keep warm!

Re:Evita's on the horizon (1)

Solandri (704621) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514433)

Money is a representation of productivity. The economy keeps chugging along because when people spend money, the productivity they get out of what they bought with the money is greater than the productivity they spend to acquire the money. e.g. You earn $25/hr. You spend $100 buying a tool which will save you more than 4 hours of work in the long-run. So you're spending $100, but what you're spending it on is increasing your productivity by more than $100. That arbitrage is what makes the economy grow.

So compared to spending money on completely useless things like gold toilet seats, there is some benefit to rich people throwing money into projects like this of dubious benefit. But it's hardly ideal as it results in significantly less economic growth (if not causing economic contraction) compared to if the money were spent on something more productive instead. (And in fact, burning money is likely more beneficial. The loss of cash by the rich person incrementally raises the value of all other cash in existence. A significant portion of which is held by poorer and middle income people who will spend it on necessities which help drive the economy, rather than frivolous toys for the rich person.)

Re:Evita's on the horizon (1, Informative)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 2 years ago | (#39508017)

Why is the project stupid?

Well, for one thing, there is a real, complete Saturn V rocket sitting in a large hanger in Houston. It was built and ready to launch when the Apollo program was cancelled. So even if we needed to look at one, we could simply go there and see one in more or less pristine condition. However, the rocket in Houston did sit outside for decades exposed to the elements, so it's not like they can stand it up, refuel it and send it up. It's there for whatever other purposes you could need and it has not been on the ocean floor for the past 40 years. Whatever you could gain from bringing up the ones that were launched could be achieved better and more efficiently from the rocket in Houston. The only value the engines on the ocean floor has is purely nostalgia.

It's always been a dream of mine to see the Saturn V's reenter production and start flying again. I believe it was by far the best rocket engine system ever created.

Re:Evita's on the horizon (3, Insightful)

Megane (129182) | more than 2 years ago | (#39508447)

Why must the only reason to recover it be to reverse-engineer it? (Besides, we already have projects like the J2X [wikipedia.org] for re-mainstreaming Saturn V technlogy.) Why must you ignore the possibility that the very act of recovering this historical object doesn't in itself advance science through developing the technology to recover it? James Cameron's "voyage to the bottom of the sea" improved deep-diving technology sufficiently that I'm sure more people will go down there in the next few years.

Re:Evita's on the horizon (0)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 2 years ago | (#39508759)

Why must the only reason to recover it be to reverse-engineer it? (Besides, we already have projects like the J2X [wikipedia.org] for re-mainstreaming Saturn V technlogy.) Why must you ignore the possibility that the very act of recovering this historical object doesn't in itself advance science through developing the technology to recover it? James Cameron's "voyage to the bottom of the sea" improved deep-diving technology sufficiently that I'm sure more people will go down there in the next few years.

Like I said, the only value in recovering these engines is pure nostalgia. Sure, there may be tech gained from the recovery operation itself, but this could just as easily be gained by doing something productive, like figuring out a better way to seal deep water oil drilling leaks.

Don't get me wrong, nostalgia has value, but there could be more nostalgia and tech gained by figuring how to raise the Titanic or Lusitania.

Re:Evita's on the horizon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39510557)

Why must the only reason to recover it be to reverse-engineer it? (Besides, we already have projects like the J2X [wikipedia.org] for re-mainstreaming Saturn V technlogy.) Why must you ignore the possibility that the very act of recovering this historical object doesn't in itself advance science through developing the technology to recover it? James Cameron's "voyage to the bottom of the sea" improved deep-diving technology sufficiently that I'm sure more people will go down there in the next few years.

Like I said, the only value in recovering these engines is pure nostalgia. Sure, there may be tech gained from the recovery operation itself, but this could just as easily be gained by doing something productive, like figuring out a better way to seal deep water oil drilling leaks.

Don't get me wrong, nostalgia has value, but there could be more nostalgia and tech gained by figuring how to raise the Titanic or Lusitania.

What asshole modded this as "overrated"?

I'm not sayin' it was aliens but... (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 2 years ago | (#39510711)

Jeff Bezos is searching to salvage the Apollo 11 first stage just like Howard Hughs was mining manganese nodules with the Glomar Explorer. In other words, this is just a cover story for some C I A escapade.

Re:Evita's on the horizon (3, Insightful)

fast turtle (1118037) | more than 2 years ago | (#39508945)

Well there's the science angle of those engines seeing as how they were actually launched raising the questions of how the heat affected them, plus what affect did splash down have on them along with the affect of salt water on the hot/cold components. What kind of corrosion has the metal suffered over time? All sorts of questions like that are then able to be asked.

To me, the inability to even think of questions to be asked/ivestigated proves just how well the educational system in the United States is reaching the goal of no-one being able to think for themselves as both the government and corps simply want consumers that are as dumb as rocks. No wonder Science has pretty much died in the States though we still have a few that are innovating but they're getting locked out by Patents and such as quickly as possible.

Re:Evita's on the horizon (1)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 2 years ago | (#39513387)

Exactly!

We never asked these questions because we never had samples of the Saturn V rocket that were used, except for command modules.

Re:Evita's on the horizon (2)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 2 years ago | (#39509011)

The project is obviously about historic preservation, not science. Think it might be interesting to have the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria on display in a museum somewhere? How about the tools used to create the pyramids?

Re:Evita's on the horizon (4, Funny)

es330td (964170) | more than 2 years ago | (#39510209)

How about the tools used to create the pyramids?

I'm pretty sure Ra took those with him when he went through the Stargate.

Re:Evita's on the horizon (1)

Specter (11099) | more than 2 years ago | (#39516025)

As a side note: if you ever get a chance to visit this exhibit, it is VERY impressive. It's hard not to stand next to this rocket and not be awed by the imagination required to conceive of, let alone build, this engineering marvel.

Re:Evita's on the horizon (1)

rvw (755107) | more than 2 years ago | (#39508049)

Can we please go back to decent central funding of scientific endeavour - particularly in space - rather than all this stupid pet projects from people who got lucky and have more money than sense? The Soviets dragged themselves from backwater feudal estate to technocratic superpower in 20 years - and China similarly - because they understood the value of education and science. They didn't think that "the market" would advance them.

Traveling faster than light - think about that! With one-click of course, the books are here before you know it. That would advance science and generate money for his business as well.

Re:Evita's on the horizon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39508597)

Why particularly space? What's so great about a vacuum? How about biology?

Re:Evita's on the horizon (0)

operagost (62405) | more than 2 years ago | (#39508889)

I assume you want to confiscate Bezos' wealth and use it for projects that "the people" see fit?

As I recall, the USA was the first to put a man on the moon, and they did it without instituting an authoritarian socialist government.

Re:Evita's on the horizon (1)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 2 years ago | (#39509035)

Yes, the Soviet Union is the model for becoming a technocratic superpower, if you don't mind the purges, wars, inability to produce food and a disregard for the environment or public health that would give any capitalist a run for their money. And then there's China, which really is another case of "superpower at any cost".

Hell, if I enslaved the entire population of Earth and pointed them at that purpose, we'd already be on Mars. Probably with a colony or two. Why? Because I wouldn't have to care if a few of my missions ended up turning my cosmonauts into crispy critters, I'd just pretend they were smashing successes and use the data from their demise to make the program better. As for food? I'd have them eating Freedom Food and wearing Freedom Clothes, which come in any color they want, as long as it is grey and made out of the most economical material available. Hell with the extra slave cycles, I might just decide to cure all forms of cancer. The human testing would probably advance us by at least a few decades overnight.

Okay, so...

Sure, I wish that these boys with their toys and too much money would stop doing vanity project shit with it, but really, there are worse ideas out there, and not every rich guy is doing this. Some of them are actually the future of the space program.

Re:Evita's on the horizon (1)

k6mfw (1182893) | more than 2 years ago | (#39509073)

Yes, I also see this as rich people inspired by what we used to be able to do (send a man to the moon) and now spend lots of time and money on salvaging/restoring things of the past. I wonder who will inspire the next gen of Jeff Bezos now that USA no longer has a HSF that will match capabilities of Apollo and Shuttle (they are "working" on this but damn the funding is tight and the schedules long).

Excellent observation about Soviets and China you mentioned there.

Why are they NASA's property? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39507713)

At what point would they be considered abandoned?

I mean sitting at the bottom of an ocean for 40 years and its not like a fiber optic cable whose purpose is to be laid over great distances, so at what point can some one else claim them?

I want them to go some where like the Smithsonian, but I'm shocked that Jeff Bezos wouldn't have a cliam.

Re:Why are they NASA's property? (4, Informative)

JazzHarper (745403) | more than 2 years ago | (#39508371)

Under international maritime law, the objects remain the property of the original owner forever, unless that owner has formally abandoned claim to them. The salvor may go to court to claim a reward for recovering the property, but is not entitled the property itself.

Re:Why are they NASA's property? (2)

rossdee (243626) | more than 2 years ago | (#39508559)

Not so long ago some underwater treasure hunters retrieved gold from a spanish shipthat was at the bottom of the ocean for centuries. The Spanish Govt sued and got their treasure back, so I think it would be a good idea to get the permission of NASA before going after it.

Anyway I agree that there would be better ways Bezos could spen his money in order to further space exploration.

I think that congress should rewrite NASA's charter (or whatever it is called) to allow individuals and companies to make tax free donations to NASA (the same as if they had donated to charities like the Red Cross, United Way, Humane Society etc.
And also allow sponsorship in return for naming rights (eg the next Rover on mars could be called the "Range Rover (sponsored by Land Rover.

The good and bad side of capitalism. (2)

master_p (608214) | more than 2 years ago | (#39507717)

The good side: it allows private corporations to do things like this.

The bad side: it puts money in the hands of the few.

Re:The good and bad side of capitalism. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39507853)

The good side: it allows private corporations to do things like this.

The bad side: it puts money in the hands of the few.

Yes, because the Walmart-after-10pm crowd would definitely put that redistributed wealth to good use.

Re:The good and bad side of capitalism. (4, Insightful)

Nutria (679911) | more than 2 years ago | (#39507855)

The bad side: it puts money in the hands of the few.

As opposed to communism, which (in reality not theory) puts money in the hands of the... few?

Re:The good and bad side of capitalism. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39508123)

Who said anything about communism?

Re:The good and bad side of capitalism. (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 2 years ago | (#39510323)

Communism: a system of government rarely practised but often aspired to, not to be confused with the Socialist system as practised in the Former Soviet union and China ...

Re:The good and bad side of capitalism. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39508213)

Learn about what you say idiot. Capitalism has done more good than any other form of government, and NO whats going on in the US today is not capitalism, fool.

Re:The good and bad side of capitalism. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39508297)

Learn about what you say idiot. Capitalism has done more good than any other form of government, and NO whats going on in the US today is not capitalism, fool.

Amen, brother.

The founding fathers of the USA hated corporations and predicted the current state of affairs would come about if corporations were not strongly limited. Look it up!

We have corporatism, aka fascism, in the USA today. Not capitalism at all - TARP proves this conclusively, if you weren't already convinced. In a capitalist economy the banks would have failed and we'd all be better off for it today.

Re:The good and bad side of capitalism. (2)

Megane (129182) | more than 2 years ago | (#39508685)

The founding fathers of the USA hated corporations and predicted the current state of affairs would come about if corporations were not strongly limited. Look it up!

No, you look it up. It's your argument, you support it.

Re:The good and bad side of capitalism. (2)

zerospeaks (1467571) | more than 2 years ago | (#39508521)

Capitalism is not a form of govt.

Re:The good and bad side of capitalism. (1)

coinreturn (617535) | more than 2 years ago | (#39512027)

Do it yourself. Capitalism is NOT a form of government.

Re:The good and bad side of capitalism. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39508717)

>> it puts money in the hands of the few.

Until they decide to do something useless with it, like try to retrieve a chachka from depths. At that point, every dollar they spend on the project gets recycled back into the economy and has the potential to do something useful. Unfortunately, all these recycled dollars will probably end up being spent on iPads.

After retrieving the Apollo 11 rocket engines... (5, Funny)

stoofa (524247) | more than 2 years ago | (#39507719)

Most customers:
  • Raised the Titanic
  • Discovered Atlantis

Re:After retrieving the Apollo 11 rocket engines.. (1)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 2 years ago | (#39508177)

Most customers:

  • Raised the Titanic
  • Discovered Atlantis

No, loserboy nerd, that would be NUMA. Of course, Dirk Pitt and Al Giordino are jocks.

Re:After retrieving the Apollo 11 rocket engines.. (2)

stoofa (524247) | more than 2 years ago | (#39508423)

Hey, I'm going to make a troll comment that mentions jocks, but how will I sneakily cover my intentions? I know... I'll call myself 'JockTroll.' Now watch me reel those suckers in... oh shit, that won't work.

And then, to hold the Smithsonian ransomed for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39507721)

One MILLION dollars!

Whose Property Legally? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39507729)

It is commendable that Mr. Bezos considers these items to be the property of NASA, but legally are these not up for grabs under maritime salvage laws?

Re:Whose Property Legally? (2)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 2 years ago | (#39507833)

They're not underwater graveyards, so yes, they can be salvaged. I'm not aware of anywhere within US territorial waters that is that deep (and in fact, I think the cutoff for territorial waters is 2,500m depth), so yes. I think you're right, they are legally up for grabs for anybody who can salvage them.

I'd be more concerned about the environmental impact. Yes, it's *very* deep, but wildlife has a tendency to accumulate around features on the ocean floor, and it's quite possible that these rocket engines have become artificial reefs. Beyond that, great steps have to be taken in preserving things that have been salvaged from the bottom of the ocean, because the chemistry changes. Just look at the steps they took to preserve the Mary Rose. I have no doubt of the historical significance of these (I'd add Mercury 3, and Apollo 8, 11, and 13 to the list), but I question whether it's a good idea to try to raise them.

Re:Whose Property Legally? (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39507951)

I would hope they would take this into account and do at least a quick analysis of it before making the final decision to raise them. It's possible they're in an oceanic dead zone, in which case the impact would be negligible. On the other hand, it's just as likely that creatures big and small are using them for a home in which case it may not be feasible to raise a heavy rocket with twenty tons of biomass attached to it.

Re:Whose Property Legally? (3, Informative)

JazzHarper (745403) | more than 2 years ago | (#39507971)

No. Under admiralty law, the objects remain the property of the original owner forever, unless that owner has formally abandoned claim to them. The salvor may claim a reward for recovering the property, but not the property itself.

Re:Whose Property Legally? (2)

bitt3n (941736) | more than 2 years ago | (#39508415)

The salvor may claim a reward

how does one determine what a reasonable reward is when the value of the salvaged item is difficult to determine? can the owner simply offer a penny, or can the salvor hold the goods for ransom until he gets what he wants? such a right to claim reward seems ripe for abuse, unless it must be agreed upon in advance, in which case it is no longer a right really, given that in that case the salvor could be said to have the right to see the owner dance like a chicken (since he has the right to anything he can agree to get the owner to do as a precondition of the salvage operation).

Re:Whose Property Legally? (3, Informative)

JazzHarper (745403) | more than 2 years ago | (#39508789)

That's what the courts (or arbitrators) are for. It is up to the court to decide what the amount of the reward will be, based on a long list of factors set out in the International Convention on Salvage (1989). Typically, the reward will be less than 50% of the value of the property recovered, although it can be more for sunken treasure. The salvor does not need to have (and in fact, must not have) a pre-existing agreement with the owner to have a pure (or "merit") salvage claim.

In general, if the owner of the vessel refuses to pay the reward arising from a successful salvage, the court can seize the property and order it to be sold at auction to satisfy the claim. Of course, there can be lots of details and exceptions in specific cases.

Re:Whose Property Legally? (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 2 years ago | (#39515223)

Is there a difference between something that was supposed to be in the water and then sank (like a ship or cargo from a ship) versus something that was thrown away into the water (like, arguably, these engines)?

Re:Whose Property Legally? (1)

JazzHarper (745403) | more than 2 years ago | (#39515741)

This has been answered in another comment but, for convenience, I'll repeat: Under the International Convention On Salvage, 1989,

Property means any property not permanently and intentionally attached to the shoreline and includes freight at risk.

Based on what I have read, the 1989 convention covers more kinds of property than than previous maritime law, which mostly dealt with vessels and their cargo. In light of that, and therefore pertinent to your question, it has been a principle of maritime law since ancient times that goods thrown overboard remain the property of the owner and do not become the property of anyone finding them, because they cannot be considered as abandoned. In the contemplation of the law, goods that are jettisoned are regarded as being only temporarily sent out of the ship.

Re:Whose Property Legally? (1)

phrostie (121428) | more than 2 years ago | (#39508427)

wasn't there a Spanish ship that was found but had to have it's cargo returned to Spain because it was in the service of the Spanish government?

Would this fall under the same clause?

NASA property how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39507741)

NASA abandoned these engines in international waters. They are not covered by space treaties, but by international treaties covering ocean salvage. The engines are the property of whoever salvages them.

Re:NASA property how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39507851)

I'm pretty sure we didn't abandon them.

As I understand it, whoever salvages something can collect reasonable compensation for recovering it. (I'm not sure what happens when the owner doesn't want to pay, or can't pay the salvage fees.)

Just because I leave my first stage booster at the bottom of the Atlantic doesn't mean I've abandoned it. I'm just storing it there. If I leave my iPhone on the bar in a restaurant, it doesn't mean I've abandoned it. If you pick it up and don't return it to me, you're a thief.

Oh, and what about the other six sets of engines?

Re:NASA property how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39507961)

Er, correction, make that ten sets of engines?

Re:NASA property how? (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39507987)

Most laws like this require you to look at it from the view of a reasonable person. It's reasonable to assume that an iPhone left on a bar for 20 minutes isn't abandoned. However, if it was left on the bar for forty years (and you knew the owner knew roughly where it was but never bothered to come look for it), then its reasonable to assume its abandoned. I wouldn't be surprised if he'd contacted NASA to at least give them a heads up or to get more information on exactly how they're constructed - that would go a long way towards helping raise them.

Re:NASA property how? (3, Informative)

JazzHarper (745403) | more than 2 years ago | (#39508253)

Maritime law does not work like that. There is no time limit. The owner must make a formal declaration of abandonment. NASA has not abandoned title to these engines. The salvor is entitled to a reward for recovering them, but cannot claim ownership of them.

Re:NASA property how? (1)

badfish99 (826052) | more than 2 years ago | (#39509123)

So the salvor can claim a reward from NASA; presumably NASA would refuse to pay. Would not a court then grant ownership of the engines to the salvor in lieu of the reward? If not, how would any salvor ever hope to receive the reward to which he is entitled?

Re:NASA property how? (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 2 years ago | (#39509911)

The same way other such disputes are resolved. The court orders the property to be auctioned off, and each party gets it's respective share of the proceeds.

Re:NASA property how? (1)

lxs (131946) | more than 2 years ago | (#39510773)

How is jettisoning a disposable rocket stage not abandoning it?
Is the garbage that you put on the curb back in 1998 still your property?

Re:NASA property how? (2)

Lithdren (605362) | more than 2 years ago | (#39512147)

Only if you launch it into ocean water atleast 2,500 feet deep.

Re:NASA property how? (1)

Specter (11099) | more than 2 years ago | (#39516123)

Oh, man! I wasted all my mod points before I got to this comment! +1 Funny!

Re:NASA property how? (1)

JazzHarper (745403) | more than 2 years ago | (#39508117)

It is true that objects in international waters are covered under maritime salvage law. All the other statements above are false.

NASA has not made any express declaration abandoning title to the engines. There is no time limit. A salvor has a claim to a reward for recovering the property, but not a claim to the property itself. The claim for a reward is equivalent to a lien on the property.

they remain the property of NASA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39507757)

"they remain the property of NASA" what about salvage rights ?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_salvage
though it would still be nice if he handed them over the the museum.

Re:they remain the property of NASA (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 2 years ago | (#39507993)

Did you even read the article you linked? Nowhere in there does it say that the salvaged property becomes the property of the salvor. What it does say is that the salvor can go to court with a claim, and may be entitled to an award, rarely exceeding 50% of the value of the item.

Smithsonian ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39507763)

I sure hope Bezos will have something to say in favor of Seattle's own Museum of Flight.

why don't he use some of that amazon money (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39507771)

to save the amazon?

why would jeff... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39507773)

Why would Jeff Beck care? ...oh, nevermind

How is he sure the engines are from Apollo 11? (1)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | more than 2 years ago | (#39507805)

There were a total of 13 Saturn V launches from 1967 to 1973. I'm not sure that even NASA knew *exactly* where the spent stages dropped, as they would have been tumbling down without parachutes, and no need for recovery beacons as used with the shuttle SRBs.

Once the engines are raised, the serial numbers will tell what mission they came from, assuming the serial numbers have survived 40 years on the ocean floor.

F-1 engines? (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39507815)

I knew that F-1 engines were powerful, but powerful enough to bring a man to the moon? Really? There's a huge gap from F-1 speeds up to escape velocity, and unlike an F-1 track, when you're aiming for the moon, you don't even have any tire contact.

jebus wept (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39508057)

tfa sez F1's rocketed Neil & co *towards* the moon

not the same as taking them all the way, blockhead!

Re:jebus wept (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39508183)

AC-tard didn't get the joke. AC-tards will be AC-tards. AC-tard is the blockhead.

Re:jebus wept (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39508971)

Anonymous Coward-tard?

Strange feeling (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39507865)

It will be a strange feeling when they pull >40 year old engines from the bottom of the ocean, but I bet that will be nothing compared to the next people to get back to the moon and visit and Apollo landing site. At the most optimistic they will be nearly 60 years old by then...

It's going to be very odd seeing a lunar lander with only the most basic computer system and nothing we would recognise as a display. Big flip switches and filament bulbs.

Re:Strange feeling (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 2 years ago | (#39508205)

Except you won't. The control components of the landers were in the ascent stage that carried the astronauts back to the service module in orbit. All that remains on the surface are the descent stage on lander legs.

Re:Strange feeling (3, Informative)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | more than 2 years ago | (#39508389)

Well, the ascent stages DID crash back to the moon after the crew redocked with the CSM, then jettisoned the ascent stage.

They didn't end up back at the landing sites, though.

Cue idiots... (1)

GrahamCox (741991) | more than 2 years ago | (#39507867)

Cue the idiots who will claim it was all faked in 3, 2, 1....

Why do they remain Nasa property? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39507905)

This is not trolling, I thought this counts as salvage?

Re:Why do they remain Nasa property? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39512291)

Yes, maritime salvage. Historically, they would not have been considered under maritime salvage law, as they are neither a vessel, nor carried by one. However, the new definition of "property" in the salvage convention of 1989 is:

Property means any property not permanently and intentionally attached to the shoreline and includes freight at risk.

Since they're not permanently attached to the shoreline, maritime law applies, and despite being abandoned, they remain the owner's (i.e. NASA's) property. The salvor, however, is entitled to a reward as fixed by an admiralty court.

To be clear (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39507965)

Let's be very clear about something. Anything claimed by the ocean is subject to maritime salvage laws/rights.

Re:To be clear (2)

JazzHarper (745403) | more than 2 years ago | (#39508165)

Yes, and under international maritime law, the salvor has a claim to a reward for recovering the property, but not to the property itself.

rocket for sale (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39508211)

List Price: $200,400,999.99
Price: $199.00 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping.
You Save: $200,400,601.99 (99%)

Awesome (1)

El Puerco Loco (31491) | more than 2 years ago | (#39508273)

Now I guess we know why he can't afford benefits or safe working conditions for amazon fulfillment center workers.

What's the point? (2)

hackertourist (2202674) | more than 2 years ago | (#39508671)

Having seen a couple of aircraft wrecks that have been salvaged, all they'll be able to retrieve is a hunk of junk. Restoring them to a state that's useful for exhibition will mean rebuilding most, if not all, of it. If that's the case anyway, why not borrow NASA's blueprints and build a replica or two?
As an added bonus, the replica materials can be chosen to be easier to work with than the originals, since you're not going to build flightworthy examples. E.g. replace titanium with aluminium.

Re:What's the point? (2)

sporkboy (22212) | more than 2 years ago | (#39509703)

Tacking onto this, it's not like it's lost technology that needs to be rescued, or the only extant examples. I saw a full set of these engines on display in Houston in their Saturn V exhibit.

Which, btw, I highly recommend to any space geeks, the scale of it is pretty awesome up close.

Re:What's the point? (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 2 years ago | (#39510451)

I grew up in Houston, trips to Johnson were almost every weekend. I did get to sit in one of the Lunar modules. I have pics of it somewhere as well. This was back when they encouraged you to touch things there.

Re:What's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39509813)

Well, if you're starting the process to rebuild, why not use the real (or improved) materials and get something flightworthy to play with! That would make for some nice 'toy' rockets...

Re:What's the point? (3, Interesting)

Catmeat (20653) | more than 2 years ago | (#39510207)

Having seen a couple of aircraft wrecks that have been salvaged, all they'll be able to retrieve is a hunk of junk.

Having seen pictures of World War 2 aircraft, recovered form the sea after 70 years, that looked like the only restoration needed was to hose off the mud and straighten the propeller (see image [luftwaffe.no] ), I'd say neither of us have any real idea what condition they'll be in.

Basically, it's all about what angle the S-I stage hit the water 40 years ago. Cold deep sea is comparatively kind to aircraft alloys, although post-recovery conservation is a massive problem.

Re:What's the point? (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 2 years ago | (#39510403)

That pic is a far cry from spraying it off. You don't know what kind of shape the airframe is in. I'd imagine that plane got a total tear down to the last rivet.

Re:What's the point? (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 2 years ago | (#39510461)

You could say the same about an old muscle car. It's not about the end result, it's more about the history that's preserved.

Re:What's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39515807)

The history of what, the Apollo 11 launch or the engines' subsequent 40-year submersion in seawater? Only one of these purposes could be served by bringing up these relics to the surface. As OP stated, replicas would better serve the purposes of exhibition. If you want to show a muscle car, you use one that's been well-maintained and probably has few of its original parts remaining (or a replica). You don't use one that's been rusting in a junkyard since the early 70s.

Wouldn't it be correct to say that reworking these long-decayed objects into something presentable is actually destroying the history behind them? Once you've retrofitted these pieces, they are no longer the original object. As is, we have the original Apollo 11 engines, but they happen to be at the bottom of the ocean. Once they're brought up to the surface and dressed up for exhibition, the original Apollo 11 engines won't exist anywhere anymore.

I bet the swiss will do it better. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39508883)

Why bring them back anyway or waste all that money? The swiss made a small and relatively inexpensive "satlite janitor" device not long ago that could remove their own satellites from orbit safely without the need of manned missions or anything. They could just do the same thing here. Course that is american thinking, to waste a shit load of money doing something as innfficiently as possible so the maximum amount of people possible are well aware that you personally are doing it and you get credit for it.

Sounds more like he saw james cameron being in the news and now he wants to be noted also "Yes I shall use my immense wealth to be the galactic garbage man for nasa!..........yeah I know its kind of lame"

Re:I bet the swiss will do it better. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39510057)

I am sure that the swiss "satlite [sic] janitor" would be really effective at picking up engines from the bottom of the ocean.

Maritime Law (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 2 years ago | (#39510353)

Bezos stressed that he is using private funds to try to raise the F-1 engines from their resting places 14,000 feet (4,267 meters) below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, and that they remain the property of NASA

If they are in international waters aren't they subject to maritime salvage law? How can they be the property of NASA, if they knew where they were and never retrieved them, why would they still belong to NASA is raised?

Re:Maritime Law (1)

JazzHarper (745403) | more than 2 years ago | (#39512831)

If they are in international waters aren't they subject to maritime salvage law? How can they be the property of NASA, if they knew where they were and never retrieved them, why would they still belong to NASA is raised?

Because that's what international maritime salvage law actually says. Someone who salvages your property can claim a reward for recovering your property and establish a lien on it in order to get the reward, but neither the recovery nor the lien makes the property theirs.

U mad bro? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39511789)

I think he is because James Cameron has been all over the news with his old news dive.
It makes no sense to bring these up though since the manufacturer made several extra which are currently on display.
So why even bother is the question? Just to say these are the actual rockets? Bleh not exciting at all..

All the idiot is doing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39516229)

is ruining an established marine habitat.

Good use for lottery money (1)

NikeHerc (694644) | more than 2 years ago | (#39516351)

I've been thinking for a long that if I won an absurd amount of lottery money, I'd use some of it to retrieve the "stage zero" engines from an Atlas launch and put'em in my den. My own space-age artifact! Of course, the wife would say, You're going to put what in here???"
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