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Research Vessel Knorr: A Floating Lab on the Black Sea

Image of the R/V Knorr

During their month-long journey at sea, our Black Sea research team will live and work aboard the U.S. research vessel Knorr. This 279-foot ship is owned by the U.S. Navy and operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution for the ocean science community.

The ship was launched in 1968 as a 245-foot-long vessel. In 1991, after a 32-month total overhaul, it returned to service as a 279-foot-long vessel. An additional 34 feet was added to the vessel’s length at its middle to make room for a new laboratory and machinery space. The ship’s twin azimuthing propulsion system also was installed at that time. The forward and aft azimuthing propellers allow the ship to move in any direction or to maintain a fixed position in high winds and rough seas. The R/V Knorr also features anti-roll tanks and an ice-strengthened bow, enabling it to travel and conduct research in oceans around the world.

The vessel has a range of 12,000 nautical miles. It can support missions lasting as long as 60 days at sea and can carry a maximum of 56 people, including 22 crew, 32 scientists, and 2 technicians.

The R/V Knorr is named in honor of Ernest R. Knorr, an early hydrographic engineer and cartographer who was appointed senior civilian and Chief Engineer Cartographer of the U.S. Navy Hydrographic Office in 1860. He was largely responsible for the success of the Navy’s first systematic charting and surveying effort from 1860 to 1885.

Where is the R/V Knorr now? Click here to find out!

For more information, visit the R/V Knorr Web page at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

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