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Apollo moon rocket engines fill place of honor

Concannon at museum
David Concannon, who put together a team to find components from the F-1 rocket engines that sent NASA astronauts on their way to the moon, recounts the adventure at the Museum of Flight with the recovered components in the background. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)

Almost 50 years after they were fired up, rocket engines that sent NASA’s Apollo crews on the first leg of their trips to the moon have reached their final destination at last, in the spotlight at the Museum of Flight’s “Apollo” exhibit in Seattle.

During a press preview today, the museum showed off the mangled components from the Saturn V first-stage engines for two Apollo moon missions, alongside an intact 18-foot-high F-1 rocket engine on loan from NASA.

It was a bittersweet moment for David Concannon, who put together the team that found the engines in 2013 with backing from Amazon’s billionaire founder, Jeff Bezos.

“I didn’t see this until two hours ago, and I was overwhelmed,” Concannon told GeekWire today. “I still am. … It’s a really sad moment. I’m proud of what we and Jeff did, but it’s kinda like sending your son off to college.”

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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