Submersible Alvin aboard the R/V Atlantis.R/V Atlantis

Tour of the R/V Atlantis

While the R/V Atlantis was docked in St. Petersburg, Lisa Robbins toured the vessel to become familiar with the facilities. The Atlantis has been in service since 1997 for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and is named for the first WHOI research vessel Atlantis (1931-1966). The now retired space shuttle Atlantis is also named after the early WHOI Atlantis. In fact, five out of six of the space shuttles were named after oceanographic research vessels.

R/V Atlantis
R/V Atlantis
Space Shuttle Atlantis.  Photo credit: NASA.gov
Space Shuttle Atlantis. Photo credit: NASA.gov

The Atlantis has a crew of thirty-six and can carry a scientific party of twenty-four for each cruise. The ship is outfitted with six labs, three winches, three cranes, and a wide variety of the latest scientific equipment.

Crane on the Aft of the R/V Atlantis
Crane on the Aft of the R/V Atlantis

In addition to the standard ocean research capabilities of Atlantis, it has a hangar that was especially made to house the most famous and widely used submersible in all of oceanography, Alvin. In service since the 1960’s, Alvin has explored parts of all of the Earth’s oceans revealing new discoveries with every dive. The submersible was also the first to explore the final resting place of the RMS Titanic.

Submersible Alvin aboard the R/V Atlantis.
Submersible Alvin in its storage hangar aboard the R/V Atlantis.

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