Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos announced in March that his research team, Bezos Expeditions, successfully recovered some of the remains of the F-1 engines that powered the Saturn V rocket, the workhorse of the Apollo lunar missions in the 1960s and 1970s.
While the find was extraordinary, it wasn’t immediately clear which Apollo missions the engines fueled. On Friday, however, Bezos confirmed that his team had indeed found an engine that propelled the historic Apollo 11 mission to the moon.
“Today, I’m thrilled to share some exciting news,” Bezos wrote on his blog. “One of the conservators who was scanning the objects with a black light and a special lens filter has made a breakthrough discovery – “2044” – stenciled in black paint on the side of one of the massive thrust chambers. 2044 is the Rocketdyne serial number that correlates to NASA number 6044, which is the serial number for F-1 Engine #5 from Apollo 11. The intrepid conservator kept digging for more evidence, and after removing more corrosion at the base of the same thrust chamber, he found it – “Unit No 2044″ – stamped into the metal surface.”