Remember last year when an internet vote to name a new research vessel resulted in an overwhelming desire for it to be called Boaty McBoatface?
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Of course you do, and of course you probably remember that the powers that be didn’t allow that to happen and instead decided to call the boat something boring like the RSS David Attenborough. Typical.
However, you may have forgotten that after the outcry on social media that the public vote had been denied, the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) decided on a compromise and instead decided to name a new remote controlled submarine – that would be a part of the RSS David Attenborough – Boaty McBoatface. And this week Boaty is finally going to embark no its first mission.
Strangely, it’s not going to be alongside its original designation the RRS David Attenborough in the Antarctic, but instead with the RRS James Clark Ross near Punta Arenas, Chile and heading all the way down to the Southern Ocean. Here are the official mission details:
— Dave the Goat (@thecasefarm) March 13, 2017
This month they’ll begin their first mission, traversing a deep current that originates in Antarctica and flows through the Southern Ocean.
They’ll be collecting data for the Dynamics of the Orkney Passage Outflow (DynOPO) project as they ‘fly’ through submarine waterfalls and rapids, shedding light on how global warming is changing our oceans.
OK, so the official mission is pretty boring (did anyone even read it?), but the big news is that Boaty McBoatface is finally getting out there and doing his thing after almost a year of stalling. I’m sure everyone thought the NERC was just going to usher him into retirement so that everyone would stop making fun of them but no, they’re actually putting it out there and that’s something we’ve got to respect.
To be fair, they probably just need to try and get people interested in what they’re doing again, as that last year was surely the most popular the organisation has ever been. Gotta get back to those levels.
For more of the same, check out the ten rudest street names in Britain. These weren’t even the winners of an internet poll.