Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Cosmosphere Launches Website To View Apollo Engine Conservation Live

F-1 Engines Conservation. Credit:

The Apollo F-1 Conservation Project, commissioned by Bezos Expeditions, is well underway at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center’s SpaceWorks conservation lab. Public tours of the project are offered Monday through Saturday, every week, to allow visitors to watch the conservation process as it happens and learn the history of the Apollo program and the process behind the recovery and conservation of the F-1 engines that powered project Apollo to the Moon and back.

The SpaceWorks team, Jim Remar, Dale Capps, Don Aich, Jerrad Alexander and Larry Goodwin, along with Senior Conservator Paul Mardikian, lead conservator and co-owner of Terra Mare Conservation, work meticulously to remove debris and corrosion from the engine components, and to find identifying information. Recently, a serial number on one of the thrust chambers was confirmed that identified the piece as belonging to the Apollo XI mission.

Currently, the majority of the more than 25,000 pounds of engine pieces have been moved into immersion tanks, where they sit in a mixture of deionized water and anti-corrosion agents. Some pieces may be in the containers for up to a year to remove existing corrosion. Other pieces will be taken apart and cleaned by hand to insure as much of the debris is removed as possible.

To open up the live viewing of the conservation process to the world, the Cosmosphere launched a new website with live webcams that show the interior of the SpaceWorks facility and allow visitors to watch the conservation process in action from any internet-enabled device.

The website ( follows the engines from their Apollo launches to their current stage of conservation, providing specifics about the conservation process. Historical videos and photos give visitors a clear view of the significance this project has in honoring the history and inspiring the future of space exploration, the core elements of the Cosmosphere’s Mission.

“This recovery and conservation isn’t just important to the Cosmosphere, or even the United States,” said Jim Remar, Cosmosphere President and COO. “These engines represent a time and a program that effected people across the globe. It was important to us to share the process with explorers from all walks of life, so that they might find their own inspiration in this project.”

F-1 Engines Conservation. Credit:
F-1 Engines Conservation. Credit:

Access to the website is free of charge and open to the public. Members of the SpaceWorks crew work on the engines Monday – Friday from approximately 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Public tours of the project are available Monday – Friday at 3 p.m., Saturday at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Tours begin in the Hall of Space Museum’s Apollo Gallery and continue with a trip via Cosmosphere bus to the SpaceWorks facility to view the Observation Gallery and the conservation in process. Visitors then travel back to the Cosmosphere via bus.

Apollo F-1 Conservation Project Observation Gallery Tours are $1 for Cosmosphere Members, $5 for General Public.

The Smithsonian-affiliated Cosmosphere houses the largest collection of U.S. space artifacts outside of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC and the largest collection of Russian space artifacts outside of Moscow. The Cosmosphere’s mission is to honor the past and inspire the future of space exploration. Camp KAOS is dedicated to inspiring explorers of all ages using STEM principles and building leadership and teamwork skills. The SpaceWorks division has an international reputation for historic artifact preservation, replication and exhibit design. SpaceWorks has completed projects for NASA, the Smithsonian, and Hollywood films, including Ron Howard’s Apollo 13 and the HBO Miniseries, From Earth to the Moon.

The Cosmosphere is located at 1100 N. Plum in Hutchinson, Kan.


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