The United States Navy is dedicated to advancing science and exploration. The Office of Naval Research, established in 1946, has produced several innovations and discoveries. Its scientists created the first computers, assisted in creating the atomic bomb, and made a coating for ships that shielded against explosions. They have also taken part in space exploration by launching astronauts into orbit and safely bringing them back to the planet. More than 60 Nobel laureates have emerged as a result of their work.
The U.S. Navy's Office of Naval Research put decades of work into this deep-sea investigation. Maps were made available to sealers, whalers, and traders from China, aiding America's efforts to fortify its diplomatic presence in the Pacific. These early explorers' contributions were essential to the growth of the United States as an independent country and a significant economic force.
One such partnership involves the Gulf of Mexico Research Center, which provides funding for two oceanographic research vessels: the 199-foot ocean vessel of the National Science Foundation and the 135-foot R/V Ken Barbor of the USM. The partnership aims to advance the creation of new technologies that can aid national security.
The U.S. Navy concentrated on increasing its influence through technological advancement throughout the Cold War. The nuclear-powered USS Triton significantly developed sea power, the first submarine to circle the globe. The Navy started building a fleet of nuclear-powered submersibles in the early 1970s. As it grew, this technology played a significant role in strategic deterrence. In addition, the Navy was a pioneer in using tactical guided missiles.
Underwater research has always been of interest to the Navy. By 1958, the Navy provided funding for about 90% of American oceanographic expeditions. The Navy supported project Nekton, which entailed a series of dives to assess the viability of human-crewed boats at profound depths. The project also examined how temperature, pressure, and sound interact at shallow depths.
Finding novel advancements for the Navy is the sole focus of the NRL, a scientific and engineering command of the Navy. Although its main office is in Washington, D.C., it has significant field operations in Florida, Mississippi, and California. There are over 3,000 scientists and engineers working there.
The R/V Sally Ride, which carries the name of an American astronaut and professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, was just unveiled. The Scripps Nimitz Marine Facility in Point Loma, San Diego Bay, will serve as the home port for the R/V Sally Ride.
Many of the expedition's participants had publications in journals or other documents because it was a significant scientific endeavor. At the National Archives, the journals are available on microfilm. They can also be found in novels. Additionally, the expedition's journals are accessible. The accomplishments of the trip are detailed in Frances Barkan's book "The Wilkes Expedition: A Story of the Northwest."