Boaty McBoatFace Strikes Back as a Yellow Submarine

EMBARGOED UNTIL 6AM MON MARCH 13TH *** Dr Alberto C Naveira Garabato. See National News story NNBOATY The controversially named submersible Boaty Mc Boatface is set to dive into the freezing abyss on its first Antarctic mission. The unmanne

The autonomous underwater vehicle is a 3.62-meter-long, 700-kg "autosub" capable of traveling under ice at depths of up to 6,000 meters.

The remotely operated underwater research vessel known as Boaty McBoatface is preparing for its first research mission - an expedition into "some of the deepest and coldest abyssal ocean waters on earth".

The name gained global fame past year after voters overwhelmingly chose it to christen Britain's new $300 million research ship in an online poll.

Instead of a large research vessel, the name Boaty McBoatface is attached to three submersibles like this one, according to the BBC.

Instead, the Boaty name was bestowed on a trio of unmanned submarines as a sort of consolation prize for the public.

Boaty will be collecting the bulk of its data on the Orkney Passage, a submerged valley over 2 miles below the Antarctic, as part of the Dynamics of the Orkney Passage Outflow (DynOPO) project to assess how the ocean is responding to climate change.

Clearly horrified at the thought of having to give its lovely new vessel such a daft name, the NERC reminded everyone that it would have the final say.

However, people's hopes were dashed, after NERC decided that despite the name's popularity they would name the US$200 million ship after naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough.

Along with Boaty, the scientists will depart Punta Arenas in Chile on March 17 aboard the BAS research ship RRS James Clark Ross.

Boaty McBoatface may have a silly name, but its mission is far from trivial.

Antarctic Bottom Water is cold and dense, and its movement contributes to ocean circulation worldwide, the BAS writes.

"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.

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