The research vessel Neil Armstrong was escorted by the WHOI coastal research vessel R/V Tioga, two Coast Guard vessels and fireboats from neighboring towns as it docked for the first time at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) dock, its home port, on Wednesday.
WHOI President and Director Mark Abbott said that they are proud to be selected to operate the Neil Armstrong by the research vessel management. Six years back, the US Navy announced its plans to build two ships in a new Ocean Class of research vessels.
In 2010, it awarded the no-cost lease to operate the first of the ships. In 2012, the US Navy announced that the first ship will be named as Neil Armstrong and the second one will be named as Sally Ride and would be operated by Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
Neil Armstrong is the newest in the US academic fleet. It is one of the seven ships capable of accessing all but ice-covered areas of the global ocean. On Wednesday at 9.45 am, the Neil Armstrong emerged over the horizon between Martha’s Vineyard and Naushon Island.
It reached after completing a weeklong expedition starting from Norfolk. There was a huge crowd to receive Neil Armstrong. David Scully, chairman of the WHOI Board of Trustees said that the Neil Armstrong is the latest one in a list of ships being operated by WHOI since 1930.
The Neil Armstrong has replaced the R/V Knorr, which has served ocean science for 44 years and had a reputation as a very capable ship. Many of the Armstrong’s crew has served together aboard the Knorr. The R/V Neil Armstrong is the most technologically advanced ship in the US academic fleet. The Neil Armstrong can accommodate 24 scientists and a crew of 20 at sea for up to 40 days.