CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden regarding the efforts announced this week by Jeff Bezos to recover main engines from the Saturn V first stage rocket of Apollo 11:
“I would like to thank Jeff Bezos for his communication with NASA informing us of his historic find. I salute him and his entire team on this bold venture and wish them all the luck in the world.
“NASA does retain ownership of any artifacts recovered and would likely offer one of the Saturn V F-1 engines to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington under long-standing arrangements with the institution as the holder of the national collection of aerospace artifacts.
“If the Smithsonian declines or if a second engine is recovered, we will work to ensure an engine or other artifacts are available for display at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, as Jeff requested in his correspondence with my office. I have directed our staff to begin work to exercise all appropriate authorities to provide a smooth and expeditious disposition of any flight hardware recovered.
“I sincerely hope all continues to go well for Jeff and Blue Origin, and that his team enjoys success and prosperity in every endeavor. All of us at NASA have our fingers crossed for success in his upcoming expedition of exploration and discovery.”