back to article Confirmed: Bezos' salvaged Saturn rocket belonged to Apollo 11

A conservator has confirmed that one of the F-1 rocket engines that Amazon magnate Jeff Bezos's salvage team recovered from the ocean floor is in fact from Apollo 11, the first manned mission to land on the Moon. Photo of a recovered Saturn V engine showing the serial number Beneath all the muck, the serial number reveals the …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Who really owns these?

Does anyone know how far out to sea they found these? If it's in international waters, then does Bezos not have the right of salvage? I'm no maritime law scholar, but it would seem that if something's been sitting on the sea floor for decades in international waters, then it belongs to whomever wants to haul it up.

If that's the case, I'd tell NASA to sod off if they get pushy about what can/cannot be done with these.

2
2
Silver badge
Thumb Down

Re: Who really owns these?

Apart from the fact that salvage laws basically apply to seagoing vessels and cargoes, not space rockets, salvage entitles you to a monetary reward related to the value of the salvage - it doesn't give you ownership of it.

6
0

Re: Who really owns these?

And salvage law does not apply to any government owned vessel.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Who really owns these?

Read about The Black Swan Project . Salvage laws are not as cut and dry as you think they are.

1
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Anonymous Coward

Re: Who really owns these?

"If that's the case, I'd tell NASA to sod off if they get pushy about what can/cannot be done with these."

Well, he has two options: firstly he could take a patent out on owning parts of Apollo 11, which I'm sure he can find some patent clerk to pass for the right inducements, or alternatively he can say that he intends to fully comply with all local laws and claim that in this case that means that the government probably owes him money for the costs he incurred in obtaining these items for his private collection.

I'm sure there are many people in the Amazon accounting and legal departments with experience in both these approaches to making sure that Jeff gets what he wants.

0
6
Anonymous Coward

Re: Who really owns these?

> I'm no maritime law scholar, but it would seem that if something's been sitting on the sea floor for decades in international waters, then it belongs to whomever wants to haul it up.

Lagan is goods thrown overboard to lighten ship with the intent to recover them at a later time; while derelict refers to abandoned cargo on the seabed.

You're arguing that the rockets are derelict, so finders keepers. However, lagan remains the property of the owner, and if anyone could argue they have the capability to recover their property at a later date, then it'd be NASA.

If there was any doubt as to the legal status of the rockets, I would imagine NASA would want the law clarified as it could have a bearing on the future salvage of reusable SRBs etc.

4
0
Anonymous Coward

@Scott Holland

"I'm no maritime law scholar..."

True.

1
8
Silver badge

Re: Who really owns these?

Salvage laws as we popularly know them have basically been shredded in the last 50 years. Either it is government property, owned by an insurance company that paid a claim for it, or if it's old enough to be worth something it's an "antiquity" and the the government to which it "belongs" can demand you turn it back over to them or face theft charges. So you shouldn't launch a major salvage operation without first knowing it is either money down the tubes or who and how they are going to pay you if you find something.

1
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: Who really owns these?

> Apart from the fact that salvage laws basically apply to seagoing vessels and cargoes

Salvage law applies to pretty much anything retrieved from the water. The purpose of that law is to encourage people to raise stuff that can be salvaged, no matter what its provenance.

> salvage entitles you to a monetary reward related to the value of the salvage

Most salvage laws[1] entitle the salvor to a claim against the wreck; that *might* be monetary, or it might be ownership (or part-ownership). That's generally down to the agreement struck between salvor and owner. In the event of such an agreement not being forthcoming, the Authorities will settle the matter - in the UK, that's a job performed by the Receiver of Wreck. I don't know what law has jurisdiction where this wreck was found.

Vic.

[1] Salvage laws do differ dramatically from place to place, but the core concept generally seems to be the same.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

If the Cosmosphere were on I70....

If the Cosmosphere were on one of the main arterials of the US, such as I-40 or I-70, you would never be able to get in - it would be packed.

If you are crossing the US on I-70, it's worth the detour - you can drop down at Russell, KS, hit the Cosmosphere (http://www.cosmo.org), the Underground Salt Museum (http://underkansas.org/), swing down to Yoder for a meal at the Carriage Crossing (http://www.yoderkansas.com), then take US-50 to I-35 and back up to Kansas City (reverse as needed).

From I-40, swing up to Joplin, MO, take US-166 to K-15, stop at Henry's Candies in Dexter, then up through Wichita onto K96 into Yoder. When you are done, take K-61 to US-281, then down to US-160, then take US-54 down to Tucumcari (yes, I am taking you by the scenic route.)

1
6
Silver badge
Alien

Re: If the Cosmosphere were on I70....

Eh?

6
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: If the Cosmosphere were on I70....

If the Cosmosphere were located close to Interstate 70, one of the main highways across the United States - does that help?

0
3
Silver badge
Go

Re: If the Cosmosphere were on I70....

"US-50, US-166, K-15, K96, US-281"

I'm guessing that these are road references. I think I remember hearing the "I" roads as "Interstate", but what are US and K roads? What do the letters mean?

0
2

Re: If the Cosmosphere were on I70....

According to

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Numbered_Highways

It's very simple:

Numbering

The two-digit U.S. Routes follow a simple grid, in which odd-numbered routes run generally north to south and even-numbered routes run generally east to west. (US 101 is considered a two-digit route, its "first digit" being 10.) The numbering pattern for U.S. Routes is the reverse of that for the Interstate Highway numbers—U.S. Routes proceed from low even numbers in the north to high even numbers in the south, and from low odd numbers in the east to high odd numbers in the west. Numbers ending in 0 or 1 (and US 2[5]), and to a lesser extent in 5, were considered main routes in the early numbering, but extensions and truncations have made this distinction largely meaningless. For example, US 6 was until 1964 the longest route (that distinction now belongs to US 20). The Interstate Highway System's numbering grid, which has numbers increasing from west-to-east and south-to-north, is intentionally opposite from the U.S. grid, to keep identically numbered routes apart and to keep them from being confused with one another.[6]

Three-digit numbers are assigned to spurs of two-digit routes. US 201, for example, splits from US 1 at Brunswick, Maine, and runs north to Canada.[7] Not all spurs travel in the same direction as their "parents"; some are only connected to their "parents" by other spurs, or not at all, instead only traveling near their "parents". As originally assigned, the first digit of the spurs increased from north to south and east to west along the "parent"; for example, US 60 junctioned, from east to west, US 160 in Missouri, US 260 in Oklahoma, US 360 in Texas, and US 460 and US 560 in New Mexico.[8] As with the two-digit routes, three-digit routes have been added, removed, extended and shortened; the "parent-child" relationship is not always present. Several spurs of the decommissioned US 66 still exist, and US 191 travels from border to border, while US 91 has been largely replaced by Interstate 15 (I-15).[7][9]

Several routes approved since 1980 do not follow the numbering pattern:

US 400, approved in 1994, has no "parent" since there is no US 0 or US 100.[7]

US 412, approved c. 1982, is nowhere near US 12.[7]

US 425, approved in 1989, is nowhere near US 25.[7]

In addition, US 163, designated in 1970, is nowhere near US 63.[7][10] The short US 57, approved c. 1970, connects to Federal Highway 57 in Mexico, and lies west of former US 81.[7]

While AASHTO guidelines specifically prohibit Interstate Highways and U.S. Routes from sharing a number within the same state[11] (which is why there are no Interstates 50 or 60), the initial Interstate numbering approved in 1958 violated this with I-24 and US 24 in Illinois and I-40, I-80, US 40 and US 80 in California (US 40 and US 80 were removed from California in its 1964 renumbering).[9] Some recent and proposed Interstates, some of them out-of-place in the grid, also violate this: I-41 and US 41 in Wisconsin (which will run concurrently),[12] I-49 and US 49 in Arkansas,[7][13] I-69 and US 69 in Texas,[7][14] and I-74 and US 74 in North Carolina (which run concurrently).[15]

Some two-digit numbers have never been applied to any U.S. Route, including 39, 47, 86 and 88.

1
2
Headmaster

Re: If the Cosmosphere were on I70....

Interstate highways and US Routes (US-50, etc. as mentioned above) are federally funded/maintained highway routes. The K-roads mentioned are references to Kansas state routes, which are state-funded/maintained. Usually, people will refer to a state highway generically as "State Route xx" ("route" usually pronounced identically to "rout") unless they are Michiganders, in which case they refer to M-xx as state routes, US routes, and Interstate routes aren't forbidden from using identical numbers in Michigan. More confusingly, Hawaii now has a trio of Interstate routes (H-1 through -3) even though Hawaii doesn't border any other states!

0
2
Go

Re: If the Cosmosphere were on I70....

Here's a good explanation of the differences:

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=180482

0
2

Re: If the Cosmosphere were on I70....

Yes, they are road references.

The "US" highway system was the precursor to the Interstate system, and actually got it's start in 1926. Parts of it have been upgraded over the years, but some parts are still just two lane roads through the middle of a town. If you've heard of "Route 66", that was a US highway.

The K highways, are, IIRC, Kansas state highways. Every state has it's own system, and they can vary from small roads to large freeways.

Also, sometimes a route can have it's designation changed. US-99 used to run from the Mexican border through California's Central Valley, through Oregon and Washington all the way to the Canadian border. When the highway was decommissioned in about 1970, parts of it became I-5, and the rest became state highways--CA-99, OR-99, and WA-99. At the Canadian border, it becomes BC-99.

0
1
Silver badge
Coat

Re: If the Cosmosphere were on I70....

Yes, I've been in US of A.

But most of us will never be in Kansas, Toto, even if we click magical Apple iHeels.

I'll need my coat. It's a long walk.

0
2
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: If the Cosmosphere were on I70....

"https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Numbered_Highways"

Thanks all who replied although, oddly, still no definitive reason for the US designation. It's strongly implied though that US is United States. I don't think there's any other country in the world who designates roads by using it's own country name, abbreviation or code though. Maybe it's in case the drivers forget which country they are in?

0
1

Re: If the Cosmosphere were on I70....

US routes maintain their identity even when they cross state boundaries; for example US 1 runs from Maine to Florida with a consistent designator. You don't need to worry about following (arbitrary numbers for purposes of the example) PA (Pennsylvania) 234 and discovering you're on MD (Maryland) 345, or worse, an unnumbered, named street when you cross a boundary. Maintenance for state, US and US Interstate routes is largely handled by the individual states, with varying degrees of federal (US) funding.

1
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: If the Cosmosphere were on I70....

Please excuse my obvious fuckwittedness, but how does this immensely interesting discussion about the naming of the US road network relate in any way to the Saturn rocket from Apollo 11 in the ocean?

12
0
Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: If the Cosmosphere were on I70....

Worst of all the guy is trying to get you to believe Kansas is worth visiting for any reason. My extended family is from Hutchinson and I have been to the Cosmosphere (haha forgot the other big draw in the area the Eisenhower Library in Abilene) as a kid and now realize many years later that my family lived one of the worst areas in the US (I sure as sh_t don't). Kansas has given us things like Westboro Baptist Church, the state school board pushing teaching creationism, and the BTK killer. Its a closed minded bible thumping redneck paradise except in the cities which are all nasty and run down. There is a reason one of biggest federal prisons is there (Leavenworth) because they don't want to waste real estate that may some day ever be of value. Here's to the Chiefs missing the playoffs once again.

1
3
Silver badge

Re: still no definitive reason for the US designation.

No idea why this thread is in this topic but...

The US route system emerged before the Interstate system. To that point States built their own road systems with their own numbering schemes. Typically these days people will put the two digit zip code designation for the state in front of the state route to identify location. The US route system was implemented to help people navigate across the country. Basic concept is to keep the road name the same the whole was across. Nominally three digit east-west routes and two digit north south routes. Then along came Ike and the Interstate system, which was billed as a national defense project. The interstates were the first roads with standardized lane sizes (originally to allow the transport of Sherman tanks on carrier vehicles IIRC) and other construction features like divided lanes. These are the "I" routes and are specifically federally funded. Other routes might get money from federal appropriations, might get funded from the state, or maybe some of both (rarely more than 50% from feds). To some extent the other systems have adopted the I- standards and the naming conventions just differentiate the roads.

0
0

Apollo 11 Rockets

So the two F-1 rockets planned for museum display are the two non-working engines. Then JB is planning on using the other F-1 rocket motors for a private mission to the Moon using the other salvaged rockets? The idea that the F-1 rockets would every be reusable probably would not have even entered their wildest imagination.

0
3

Re: Apollo 11 Rockets

What on earth are you talking about?

There were five engines, he's found bits of, probably, all of them, and reckons in total he's found enough to reconstruct two full engines. End of story.

Nobody said anything about other working engines, other trips to the moon, reusing them, etc. Why do stories about NASA and the moon landings always bring out the freaks, weirdos and conspiracy theorists?

6
0
Mushroom

I'll just stand way off while you...

try to fire a rocket engine that has spent 40+ years on the seabed. It's been nice knowing you. I've included a lovely icon of what the last moment of your life will be like.

0
0

Articles on the F1 Engine

There are two very good articles on the F-1 and its modern sister the F-1B, by Lee Hutchinson, on Ars Technica for the space cadets amongst you people.

1
0
Bronze badge
Boffin

Re: Articles on the F1 Engine

Yeah, Lee is great, and both articles, the first about building and testing just the gas generator for the F-1:

http://arstechnica.com/science/2013/01/saturn-v-moon-rocket-engine-firing-again-after-40-years-sort-of/

And the second about making a new engine using the F-1 design but modern tech:

http://arstechnica.com/science/2013/04/new-f-1b-rocket-engine-upgrades-apollo-era-deisgn-with-1-8m-lbs-of-thrust/

are must reads for any Apollo geek. The original F-1s were lovingly hand-crafted by godlike welders (merely calling them master welders doesn't cut it), and being able to see one of the ones that lifted Apollo 11 off the pad? GOOSEBUMPS.

4
0
Bronze badge
Boffin

Re: Articles on the F1 Engine

This one too:

http://arstechnica.com/science/2013/04/how-nasa-brought-the-monstrous-f-1-moon-rocket-back-to-life/

There's some great pictures of welds that nobody in their right mind would even think about doing in a production part these days.

0
0

Flotsam or jetsam?

Sounds most like jetsam. "Jetsam is part of a ship, its equipment, or its cargo that is purposefully cast overboard or jettisoned to lighten the load in time of distress and that sinks or is washed ashore." (Wikiquote.) However, Wiki doesn't go on to explain the particular characteristics of jetsam in maritime law.

0
0
Bronze badge
Black Helicopters

Don't be fooled

... just another part the US government moon landing conspiracy.

Wake up, Sheeple!

5
6
Thumb Up

Re: Don't be fooled

The downvoters are obviously unfamiliar with the concept of irony

3
2
Silver badge

Re: Don't be fooled

You have to hand it to the people who faked the moon landings for their forward thinking; who would have thought they would dump Apollo parts in the sea where they could be found forty years later to back up the myth.

They were so clever! if they had really tried I bet they could have made it to the moon!

5
1
Silver badge

Re: Don't be fooled

Well, the assassination of Stanley Kubrick covered all the tracks. We will never know the whole story.

1
1
Silver badge
Go

Re: Don't be fooled

The US didn't have the tech to fake a moon landing. That's why Australia did all the film-work for them. They WANT you to think it was faked in the US!

3
1
Gold badge

Re: Don't be fooled

Occam's razor, XKCD style.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Don't be fooled

Let's hope they don't find the moon lander at the bottom of the ocean.

1
0
Facepalm

Re: Don't be fooled

Come on now - obviously they were placed on the seabed by Slartibartfast or one of his colleagues from Magrathea, when they built the world.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Don't be fooled

That's because they are probably American... ;-)

0
0
Silver badge

Re: obviously unfamiliar with the concept of irony

Not necessarily. There is a corollary to the "don't feed the trolls" rule.

1
0
Silver badge
Trollface

Re: Don't be fooled

...You have to hand it to the people who faked the moon landings for their forward thinking; who would have thought they would dump Apollo parts in the sea where they could be found forty years later to back up the myth.

They were so clever! if they had really tried I bet they could have made it to the moon!...

Hand in your Conspiracy badge immediately!

It must be quite obvious to all right-thinking American conspiracy nutters that these parts have NOT been on the ocean bed for 40 years. Instead, the Black Helicopter men have been so alarmed by our revelations that they have decided to plant a fake set of pre-corroded rocket parts down there to be 'found' by a paid-off team only a few weeks later. This is an attempt to divert suspicion from the Illuminatii, who ordered the Moon Landing story to be distributed to hide other nefarious operations which are still secret.

Similarly, the Apollo sites on the moon were not really proof of a moon landing - they were put there in the late 60s and early 70s by the same teams as part of a ritual to maintain Masonic influence over the Vatican during the Cold War... blether, blether, blether...

0
0
Facepalm

Mde possible thanks to tax avoidance

In one hand, a company avoiding taxes by twisting the system, in the other a magnate spends millions to fish old junk from the seas. Some rich moguls have plenty money to spend on very futile things...

0
5

Some of the photos of these rocket parts on the sea-bed shows very little marine growth on them. Was the fuel they burned so toxic that even after 40 years they aren't covered with the sort or marine life you'd expect to see?

Or were they actually buried under the sand/mud, and the pictures were taken after they had been partially uncovered?

0
0

@Al - fuel toxicity

The F1 engines in the Saturn V burned Liquid oxygen and RP-1 aka kerosene...basically jet fuel. So the exhaust was no more toxic than what you breathe at an airport.

LOX/RP-1 is nowhere near as toxic as the hypergolic fuel combos used by the Gemini's Titan II (pre-Apollo but only just), and by the Chinese space program even today for their Shenzhou manned missions. But after 44 years in the sea, I can't imagine any traces of the fuel would be left regardless of what type it was.

0
0
wsm

Bezos buys...

The headline should have read--Bezos buys right to surrender space junk.

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums