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New Kid on the Block

New Kid on the Block

On Aug. 31, 1931, WHOI’s first deep-ocean research vessel Atlantis arrived in Woods Hole for the first time. The 142-foot, steel-hulled ship was the first built for the U.S. specifically to carry out research in marine biology, marine geology, and physical oceanography. Atlantis’ design grew out of founding director Henry Bigelow’s frustrations using smaller, less stable vessels in the Gulf of Maine. The ship eventually sailed 299 cruises and more than 700,000 miles for ocean science until it was sold in 1966. It remains the Institution’s symbol and is the namesake of the current R/V Atlantis, as well as the since-retired Atlantis II, and the space shuttle Atlantis.

(Photo courtesy of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Archives)


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