Exploration sub ‘Boaty McBoatface’ ready for first expedition

Boaty McBoatface is ready for duty.

The name grabbed headlines last year when the U.K.’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) started a public campaign to name a new $284 million research ship.

The winning entry ended up being “Boaty McBoatface,” but NERC officials balked at the name and eventually decided to name the vessel after Sir David Attenborough, the famed British naturalist and broadcaster.

But “Boaty McBoatface” lived on. The group gave the name to an unmanned submarine that will deploy on its first scientific mission later this month.

“It would have been a travesty to cast aside a name that had captured the imagination of so many people around the world,” the group wrote on its website. “And so, at the NERC National Oceanography Centre, Autosub Long Range Boaty McBoatface was born.”

Boaty McBoatface will travel through a deep current that starts in Antarctica and flows through the Southern Ocean. Researchers hope the expedition will help them learn more about the effects of global warming on oceans.

Meantime, work continues on the Sir David Attenborough. The ship will go through a series of trials to make sure it’s seaworthy and that its scientific equipment is working properly before heading out on its first mission in 2019.