Navy to christen research vessel Neil Armstrong

The statue depicts famous U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong, which stands on the campus of Purdue University. (WLFI Photo)
The statue depicts famous U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong, which stands on the campus of Purdue University. (WLFI Photo)

WASHINGTON (WLFI) – At a ceremony in Washington on Saturday, the Navy will christen the Auxiliary General Oceanographic Research Vessel Neil Armstrong.

The ceremony at the Port of Anacortes Transit Shed in Anacortes, Wash. will keep with tradition. Carol Armstrong, the ship’s sponsor, will break a bottle of sparkling wine against the ship and christen it in the name of her late husband, astronaut Neil Armstrong.

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus said that the ceremony not only honors a great man, but the hundreds whose tireless efforts helped construct the ship. He said it’s a day when the spirit of discovery and exploration are celebrated as they should be.

“The christening of the Neil Armstrong, a state-of-the art research vessel, is a fitting tribute to a man whose work as a naval aviator and astronaut inspired generations of Americans to look beyond the horizon, to strive to achieve the seemingly impossible,” said Mabus.

Officials said this new class of modern research vessels are capable of integrated, interdisciplinary, general purpose oceanographic research in coastal and deep ocean areas. The R/V Neil Armstrong is the first of its class and will feature state-of-the-art equipment on board. The vessels are being constructed by Dakota Creek Industries Inc.

The vessel was named to honor the memory of Neil Armstrong, best known for being the first man to walk on the moon. Armstrong was an aeronautics pioneer and explorer for NASA serving as an engineer, test pilot, astronaut and administrator. Armstrong also served as a naval aviator flying nearly 80 combat missions during the Korean War. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language, off topic, or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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