What is it with the super rich and the bottom of the sea? Only days after Titanic and Avatar director James Cameron returned from his one-man voyage to the deepest part of the ocean (with Paul Allen nearby on his gigantic yacht tweeting the hell out of it), Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, worth roughly $18.1 billion according to estimates, announced that he's put together a team of "undersea pros" intent on raising the engines of Apollo 11, currently residing 14,000 feet below water.
Bezos announced yesterday - via the website Bezos Expeditions - that his team located the Apollo 11 engines, under water since 1969 but responsible for helping lift Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins to the moon, using state-of-the-art deep sea sonar equipment. Bezos' team will now set its sights on attempting to bring one or more of the engines to the surface.
If successful in raising more than one from the watery depths, Bezos says he plans to lobby NASA - who still owns the engines - to let Seattle's Museum of Flight display one of the historical relics. If only one engine is raised, Bezos says NASA will likely give the Smithsonian first dibs.
Bezos notes online that no public money is being used in the endeavor; it's a completely private endeavor.
That's the nice thing about being worth $18.1 billion.
Bezos explains the efforts online:
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.