Boaty McBoatface to set off on first polar mission
In 2019 Boaty McBoatface will be fitted with acoustic and chemical sensors and sent into the North Sea to "sniff out" signals associated with the artificial release of gas beneath the seabed. The remote-controlled underwater research submarine that captivated the world a year ago is making its first ever trip this week to Antarctica to capture climate change data - and also our hearts.
A British government agency spurned the results of an online poll past year to name their new, $287 million polar research ship Boaty McBoatface. In a now-infamous event, the public voted for Boaty McBoatface, but the humourless British government deemed it unsuitable, choosing the much more boring name of Sir David Attenborough instead.
Boaty McBoatface, the world's most charmingly named submersible, is about to venture into cold, deep waters on its first Antarctic science mission.
Remember that time the internet collectively campaigned to win a boat naming contest with "Boaty McBoatface"?
Boaty McBoatface might be a silly name, but this autonomous submarine packs a serious punch.
As consolation, and to keep the name alive, a submarine was dubbed Boaty instead.
Scientists from the University of Southampton and the British Antarctic Survey will launch Boaty into what the survey group describes as "some of the deepest and coldest abyssal ocean waters on Earth".
The unmanned yellow submarine will depart for Antarctica aboard the RRS James Clark Ross on Friday, where the polar explorer will study the Orkney Passage, a 3,500-metre gap that extends north of the continent.
Scientists have been gathering evidence that the Antarctic bottom water is getting warmer, but they have not been able to determine why.
"Our goal is to learn enough about these convoluted processes to represent them in models that scientists use to predict how our climate will evolve over the 21 century and beyond", said lead researcher Dr. Alberto Naveira Garabato.
The National Oceanography Centre, which developed the fleet of marine robots, has also created a cartoon likeness of Boaty to help tell the story of ocean exploration to children.