Launched in April 2012 and named in October the following year, RRS Discovery is the newest addition to the UK's fleet of research vessels. She cost £75m and is designed to support world-leading marine research everywhere from tropical seas to polar oceans.
Her 100m length is packed with state-of-the-art scientific equipment, the infrastructure needed to deploy it and facilities to keep 28 scientists and 24 crew comfortable for up to 50 days at a time. With nearly 400m2 of permanent lab space and the ability to field specially designed container labs, Discovery enables research in disciplines including physical, biological and chemical oceanography, marine geology and geophysics, ocean engineering and atmospheric science.
As well as a sophisticated suite of internal equipment, the ship can deploy a range of remotely operated and autonomous underwater vehicles, and features dynamic positioning thrusters that can keep her in exactly the same position even in heavy seas.
NERC's previous research ship named Discovery operated between 1962 and 2012.