Ship Will Be Operated by Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Vessel Named to Honor the Legacy of America’s First Woman in Space

San Diego, CA, August 6, 2014 — In a ceremony to be held in Anacortes, WA, on Saturday, August 9, 2014, Sally Ride Science CEO and Cofounder, Dr. Tam O’Shaughnessy, will christen the nation’s newest research vessel, the R/V Sally Ride (AGOR 28).

The ship will be operated by Scripps Institution of Oceanography, part of UC San Diego where Dr. Sally Ride was a professor of physics and director of its California Space Institute. The R/V Sally Ride’s inaugural voyage will be south to San Diego and its homeport at the Scripps Nimitz Marine Facility in Point Loma on San Diego Bay.

Designed to operate globally, R/V Sally Ride will continue the Scripps legacy of conducting pioneering ocean exploration and research critical to understanding the planet, its oceans, and its atmosphere. As a shared-use, general-purpose ship, R/V Sally Ride will engage in a broad spectrum of research in physics, chemistry, biology, geology, and climate science, including research missions with relevance to the Navy.

“Sally Ride’s career will inspire generations to come,” said U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. “I named R/V Sally Ride to honor a great researcher, but also to encourage generations of students to continue exploring, discovering, and reaching for the stars.”

“All of us at Sally Ride Science are deeply honored by Secretary Mabus’ decision to name a ship after Sally, especially a ship that will be used for scientific research,” said Dr. O’Shaughnessy. “Sally’s passion was for helping young people stay engaged in science, technology, engineering, and math [STEM] and see the careers that await them when they pursue STEM, the exact kinds of careers enjoyed by the researchers who will be on board the R/V Sally Ride.”

“Scripps has a century-long history of seagoing excellence that is vital to the well-being of our planet and its pressing environmental challenges, and we appreciate the confidence the U.S. Navy has in UC San Diego with stewardship of its newest, state-of-the-art vessel for global ocean exploration,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “And now we are touched by the extraordinary honor that this ship is being named for Sally Ride, who, after serving our nation as a pioneering and accomplished astronaut, served on the faculty of UC San Diego for nearly two decades. Her commitment to teaching and inspiring young minds is legendary and we take tremendous pride in this prestigious and well-deserved honor for her legacy and for UC San Diego.”

As a seagoing laboratory supporting research and education, the new ship will feature modern research instrumentation to fuel scientific exploration, including mapping systems, sensors, and profilers that will investigate features from the seafloor to the atmosphere. Scripps is scheduled to take delivery of R/V Sally ride in mid-2015 and researchers plan to spend several months after delivery field-testing the vessel.


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