The high-tech unmanned research vessel, which is created to fearless the challenging underwater conditions near the seabed, earned its name past year after Britain's National Environment Research Council asked the internet-going public to help it name a new polar research vessel. But to placate the masses, who had voted overwhelmingly to name the ship Boaty McBoatface, the UK's Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) named its new unmanned research sub after the crowd favorite. The remotely operated underwater research vessel will be undertaking its first research mission as part of an Antarctic expedition that starts Friday, NPR reports.
This week, the sub will set out on its maiden voyage aboard the James Clark Ross-a large boat-to explore a deep current running between between Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.
Boaty McBoatface is ready for duty.
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.
Boaty is to depart Punta Arenas in Chile on 17 March with the DynOPO (Dynamics of Orkney Passage Outflow) expedition.
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Boaty McBoatface will be sent into the Antarctic to study water flow and turbulence in the Orkney Passage, which is more than 2 miles deep, in order to help scientists better understand the impact of global warming.
Antarctic Bottom Water is cold and dense, and its movement contributes to ocean circulation worldwide, the BAS writes.
All jokes aside, NERC is insistent the public remember that Boaty McBoatface is engaged in serious and important business.
"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. A future aim for Boaty will be to attempt the first-ever crossing of the Arctic Ocean under ice, which has the potential to deliver a significant change in scientists' ability to observe change in this vital region.
Despite the moniker intervention, the U.K.'s National Oceanography Centre knows they have a victor on their hands with Boaty McBoatface.