Two new ocean research ships will set sail this year, allowing scientists in various disciplines to study both the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans. The Sikuliaq, commissioned by the U.S. National Science Foundation, will explore the Arctic, while the R/V Neil Armstrong will be operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) for research in the Atlantic.
The Sikuliaq (pronounced see-KOO-lee-auk) is named for the Native Alaskan word for “young sea ice” and is designed to explore the icy waters of Alaska and the polar oceans. It will be operated by the University of Alaska Fairbanks and is designed to sustain the least possible amount of environmental impact.
The R/V Neil Armstrong, owned by the U.S. Navy, is still being built and is anticipated to hit the seas in late 2015 or early 2016. The WHOI has a deal with the Navy to operate the general-purpose research vessel. A similar research vessel, named the R/V Sally Ride after the first American female astronaut, will be completed in 2016 and will be operated by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
Read more about the ships here.
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