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

USS Challenger NCC - 12886

The USS Challenger NCC - 12886 was launched on Stardate 238301.28. Over the years she served for 39 missions, until her loss by auto-destruct on Stardate 238603.03 to prevent her from falling into enemy hands.

A memorial service was later held in honor of crewmembers lost before their time:

Turner: At this time I'd like to introduce Ambassador Isman Valari Federation Ambassador to Dessica II. ::Turning to him:: Ambassador.. .

  ::Stepping away, Toni sat back down in her seat to listen to what he had to say to those who would always remember.::  

Valari: Thank you, Commander... ::Looking out over the solemn crowd:: This is not a funeral, ladies and gentlemen... ::Pause:: Funerals commemorate the dead, but are for the living. No, no I tell you, today is not our day...We are not here to say goodbye to friends and loved ones, as each one of us will undoubtedly do in the days and weeks, even months to come. No, rather today is a celebration of the living, and life, because these dear friends and loved ones are not truly gone. The conservation of Energy principle tells us that each state of matter simply moves from one expression to another, but is never truly lost from the cosmos. Moreso, the principles of physics have shown time and time again the principle of universal entanglement, of the overarching quantum resonance that binds each of us to each other in the great Consciousness that transcends the individual and links each of us from our ancient past and on into the distant future. No, friends, this is not a funeral, and today we do not mourn, for this is our chance to release our friends to the next step of their journey. It is a send off. A homecoming if you will in which they rejoin the infinite mystery of the universe and take their next steps in the grand scheme. We salute them. Celebrate their sacrifice, acknowledge their heroism, and offer our heartfelt thanks for their service.  Tomorrow, in our own quiet way we will mourn as we take note of the absence of these friends and loved ones, but not tonight, for they are with us in our hearts and thoughts. Tonight we share with them in the celebration of their lives, and raise our voices in grateful acknowledgment of the debt we owe each for our own continued existence. They gave their tomorrows so that we could have today. A gift, given freely asks nothing of the recipient but a thankful acceptance. And so, tonight, we accept this gift with a spirit of humility and sincere gratitude. ::Pause:: So say we all.  

Crowd: ::in unison:: So say we all.

  :: Commander Jaxx stood up when Valari had finished.::  

Jaxx: ::moving to the podium:: We come together today, to celebrate the lives and achievements of the crew of the USS Challenger.  Many of which did not return. ::lowering his head he sighed:: What we say today is only an inadequate expression of what we carry in our hearts. Words pale in the shadow of grief, they seem insufficient even to measure the brave sacrifice of those we loved and so admired. Their truest testimony will not be in the words we speak, but in the way they led their lives and in the way they lost those lives...with dedication, honor and an unquenchable desire to explore this mysterious and beautiful universe. They leave behind sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, friends, and many who have given their respect.  Our lives are not measured by length, but by content, and these fine officers packed each and every day full of it.  As for the Challenger herself, she was a fine ship...::a single tear began to fall:: She was called upon many times to protect the Federation, and those who could not protect themselves.  I only hope she will not be the last ship to carry the name.  I am reminded of her motto...Give me a challenge, and I'll meet it with joy.  She was given many, and we met every single one of them...with our lives if necessary. Today we honor the brave men and women who had served upon her, and given their lives. ::pointing to a monument in front of Akira Manor, as an officer pulls off the cloth covering it.:: Etched upon that stone, is the name of every officer who lost their life while stationed on board.  1,285 souls, over the course of her tenure.  With her destruction we will remember the sacrifice they made, so we may all carry on.  Those of you here in attendance that served upon her...wherever you may end up, remember...Give me a challenge... ::he paused as the crew of the Challenger all yelled in unison:: 

Crowd: And I'll meet it with joy!

  :: Jaxx stepped back and nodded, then made his way to his seat.::

:: Toni again took the podium.:: 

Turner: The words heard today from Ambassador Valari and Commander Jaxx summed what we all feel about the dedication and loyalty of Challenger Crew members we have lost. Their bravery speaks highly of the people they were. Now, our dedication and loyalty faces yet another challenge... I charge you, and myself,  to remember the Challenger and take her spirit to  every vessel that you may serve on in the future. Give that spirit to another ship, and make it equal to, or better than, the vessel we came to know as home. Long live the Challenger's Spirit! 

Crowd: Long live the her Spirit!