WASHINGTON – The U.S. Navy said Monday (Sept. 24) it will name an ocean research ship after the late Neil Armstrong, the first human to walk on the moon and a former naval aviator.
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said the oceanographic research ship to be named for Armstrong is equipped with acoustic equipment capable of mapping the deepest parts of the ocean. It also carries on-board laboratories for oceanographic research.
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The 238-foot-long “Armstrong-class” ship is currently under construction by shipbuilder Dakota Creek Industries (Anacortes, Wash.). It will be outfitted with multi-drive diesel electric engines capable of operating at 12 knots (about 14 miles per hour).
The Navy did not say when the ship will be launched.
Computer rendering of the Navy's "Armstrong-class" research ship.
Prior to becoming a civilian test pilot and astronaut, Armstrong flew nearly 80 combat missions during the Korean War.
Armstrong died on Aug. 25 at the age of 82. According to the astronaut’s wishes and naval tradition, Armstrong was buried at sea.Related stories:Remembering Neil Armstrong & ApolloNeil Amstrong, First ManCuriosity ready to roll despite sensor damage