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Boaty McBoatface set for maiden voyage

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images(PUNTA ARENAS, Chile) — Do you remember a while back when a public poll was held in the U.K. to name a 200 million dollar research vessel and it backfired? Instead of generating austere, provincial English names, the overwhelming response was for “Boaty McBoatface.”

Well, the government felt the name was inappropriate, but they decided to use the silly moniker on one of their new robotic submarines. Appropriately, it is a yellow submarine and it is ready to sail.

The BBC reports that Boaty McBoatface will leave on its first science expedition for Antarctica this week and head out of Punta Arenas, Chile, aboard Britain's current polar ship, the RRS James Clark Ross.

Boaty will map the movement of deep waters that play a critical role in regulating Earth's climate in the narrow, jagged, 11,000 feet-deep gap in an underwater ridge that extends northeast of the Antarctic Peninsula, known as the Orkney Passage.

Boaty's mission will be to survey conditions in the passage.

A future mission for Boaty will be to attempt the first-ever under ice crossing of the Arctic Ocean.

You can learn more about Boaty and follow his progress at the National Oceanography Centre.

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