Australian School Children to Name Icebreaker
School children across Australia will get the chance to take part in a competition to name the nation's new state-of-the-art icebreaker.
The competition will coincide with the start of construction of the vessel in February, with the ship scheduled to arrive in its homeport of Hobart in 2020.
The Australian Government has committed A$1.9 billion ($1.4 billion) to cover the design, build and 30 year operational and maintenance lifespan of the ship. The government has signed the construction contract with Australian company DMS Maritime.
The current icebreaker Aurora Australis has served the Australian Antarctic Program since 1989.
The new vessel will be successor to the Aurora Australis and will have greater icebreaking and cargo capacity, increased endurance and operational flexibility, a high standard of environmental performance and state-of-the-art research, rescue and resupply capabilities.
Scientific equipment will include a moon pool, drop-keel, multi-beam bathymetric and scientific echo sounders, fisheries sonar systems, hydrophones and underwater cameras to support a wide range of scientific research in the Southern Ocean and Antarctica.
Along with the naming competition, the Australian Antarctic Division's school's resource, Classroom Antarctica will include six new units about Antarctic icebreakers to complement existing learning units that focus on the significance of Antarctica, science, wildlife and the Australian Antarctic Program.