This week, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and partners successfully heaved a 3,665-ton ship into Great Lakes waters near Green Bay, Wisconsin. The massive vessel, better suited for science than subtlety, lumbered loudly into the water in less than 30 seconds, splashing bystanders and rolling so radically as to give new maritime meaning to the term “tipping point.”
The research ship, called Sikuliaq, which means “young sea ice” in the language of northern Alaska’s Inupiat people, is bound for ice-breaking adventures in the Arctic, starting in early 2014. The ship was made possible by $148 million in Federal Recovery Act investments through an NSF grant to the University of Alaska Fairbanks. It was constructed by the Marinette Marine Corporation of Wisconsin, a major regional employer that added local jobs and reinstated previously laid-off workers in order to build the boat.
Read more about the high-tech ship and the scientific research it will enable on the NSF website.