Boaty McBoatface set to take on first mission

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Boaty McBoatface set to take on first mission

The submersible will plumb the dark depths of the Orkney Passage, a 3.5 kilometre (2.17 miles) deep region of the Southern Ocean.

Unfortunately, officials rejected the proposal - instead naming the vessel after famous naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough - but they did agree to bless its autonomous underwater vehicle with the name. But Boaty McBoatface is already on the job.

The ship in question was ultimately named after the naturalist David Attenborough, which is not almost as amusing, but in order to appease the denizens of the internet, a small yellow submarine was christened "Boaty McBoatface" instead.

The remote-controlled underwater research submarine that captivated the world previous year is making its first ever trip this week to Antarctica to capture climate change data - and also our hearts.

As a consolation gesture, however, a smaller autonomous underwater vehicle was named Boaty McBoatface.

"We know that a major driver of the abyssal ocean warming, at least in the Atlantic Ocean, is changes in winds over the Southern Ocean", noted lead scientist Alberto Naveira Garabato from the University of Southampton in a statement.

Boaty will depart from Punta Arenas in Chile on March 17. Once there, Boaty will go back and forth through a deep current of bottom water, measuring the intensity of underwater turbulence. The vessel will probe the Southern Ocean's water flow and turbulence.

ONE lesson must be learnt from the Boaty McBoatface dilemma - be careful what you wish for.

Dr. Maaten Furlong, Head of Marine Autonomous and Robotic Systems, explains: "We have a long history of developing and operating autonomous underwater vehicles in support of United Kingdom science with our first science campaigns in the late 1990s".

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.

"The deployment of Autosub Long Range in the Antarctic expands our robotic vehicle capability and places us at the forefront of AUV development". The video formed part of the Name our Ship campaign.

All jokes aside, NERC is insistent the public remember that Boaty McBoatface is engaged in serious and important business.

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