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Royal Research Ship Discovery on the Thames – 7th and 12th October 2015


Photo Eric Pemberton

Many thanks to regular contributor  Eric Pemberton who managed to take some photographs of the RRS Discovery has it made it way past the O2. The rare visit of the research vessel is to celebrate 50 years of the Natural Environment Research Council. RRS Discovery will be moored alongside the HMS Belfast in London from Wednesday morning until Sunday 11 October when she will return to Southampton to mobilise for her next research cruise in the Bahamas as part of the RAPID climate change project.

Science and technology from all NERC Centres will be showcased on board, and hundreds of members of the public, industry professionals and government stakeholders will visit the ship.


Photo Eric Pemberton

Members of the public have won tours of the ship through competitions held by the Natural History Museum and radio stations. On Friday afternoon and Saturday in Potter’s Fields on the South Bank, staff from NOC, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, British Geological Survey, National Centre for Earth Observation and National Centre for Atmospheric Science will be undertaking ‘science busking’ – talking to passers-by about the ship and the research undertaken at their centre.

The Royal Research Ship Discovery has completed her first year of research. Over a series of nine research expeditions, scientists studied the seasonal events taking place in UK shelf waters throughout the year. The vessel, procured by the Natural Environment Research Council for UK science is the latest in marine technology.


Photo Eric Pemberton

Science teams used robot subs, landers and underwater gliders and other tools on board the ship to measure the processing and transport of material between relatively shallow shelf seas.


The ship was 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.


The ship actually left Tower Bridge on the 12th of October and I managed to catch her making her way around Limehouse Reach and took a few photographs.