Former Vessels Named Challenger

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Ships Named Challenger

Eight ships of the Royal Navy have been named HMS Challenger, most famously the survey vessel Challenger that carried the Challenger expedition from 1872 to 1876.

  • The first Challenger was a 16-gun brig-sloop launched in 1806 and captured by the French in 1811.
  • The second Challenger was an 18-gun brig-sloop launched in 1813 and later used as a store hulk before being sold in 1824.
  • The third Challenger was a 28-gun 6th rate launched in 1826 and wrecked off Chile in 1835. Under the command of Charles Fremantle, it was responsible for the annexation of the colony of Western Australia in 1829.
  • The fourth Challenger was to have been an 18-gun corvette of 810 tons; the ship was ordered from Chatham Dockyard in 1845, but cancelled in 1848.
  • The fifth Challenger was a screw corvette launched in 1858, converted to a survey ship in 1872 in preparation for her famous voyage, hulked in 1880, and sold in 1921. The Space Shuttle Challenger was named after this ship.
  • The sixth Challenger was a "2nd class cruiser" (a protected cruiser) of the Challenger class in service from 1902 to 1920.
  • The seventh Challenger was a survey ship launched in 1931 and broken up 1954.
  • The eighth Challenger, the RN's first purpose built ship for support of saturation diving missions, was launched in 1981 and sold in 1993.
  • Another ship named after the original HMS Challenger was the deep sea research vessel Glomar Challenger (1968).

Information from Wikipedia [1]


Challenger sailing.jpg

The Challenger Expedition, a 70,000 mile voyage, was a scientific expedition that laid the foundation of oceanography with its many discoveries. The voyage of the H.M.S. CHALLENGER took place during the years of 1873-76 and catalogued 4,000 previously unknown species of animals.

Captain George S. Nares, R.N. was the Commanding Officer of the H.M.S. Challenger and Sir C. Wyville Thomson was the Scientific Director. Their extensive research is chronicled in the a Report of the Scientific Results[2] published by order of Her Majesty's government.

Space Shuttle Challenger


"Challenger joined NASA fleet of reusable winged spaceships in July 1982. It flew nine successful Space Shuttle missions. On January 28, 1986, the Challenger and its seven-member crew were lost 73 seconds after launch when a booster failure resulted in the breakup of the vehicle." [3]

Shuttle Landing Credit - NASA

Challenger launch.jpg

The Crew

  • "The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and 'slipped the surly bonds of earth' to 'touch the face of God.'" President Ronald Reagan – January 28, 1986

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