Prior to being obtained by NOAA in 2004 and commissioned in 2008, Okeanos Explorer operated as the U.S. Naval Ship Capable, a T-AGOS class vessel. The ship was named by students from Illinois’ Woodstock High School in a nationwide ship-naming contest; in ancient Greek cosmology, Okeanos was the river/ocean that encircled the world.
Missions of the 224-foot vessel include mapping, site characterization, reconnaissance, advancing technology, education, and outreach—all focused on understanding, managing, and protecting our ocean. Expeditions on the ship are planned collaboratively, with input from partners and stakeholders, and with the goal of providing data that will benefit NOAA, the scientific community, and the public.
NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer: About the Ship: NOAA Ocean Exploration