Launching Nautilus, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Nautilus_(SSN-571)#/media/File:Nautiluscore.jpg
When we think of science fiction vessels, our minds tend to go to the Millennium Falcon or the USS Enterprise, not a black-and-white photograph. But on January 21st, 1954, this science fiction vessel was launched in the Thames River in Groton, Connecticut. The USS Nautilus, named for Jules Verne’s Nautilus in Twenty-thousand Leagues Under The Sea, was the first nuclear powered submarine in the world and became the proto-type for the many that would follow.
As the first submarine in a new era of technology, the Nautilus broke many records, including the longest submerged cruise and the highest sustained speed. But she is perhaps most famous for being the first submarine to complete a submerged transit of the North Pole. Leaving from the north coast of Alaska, the Nautilus submerged and traveled under the Arctic Ice Cap, reaching the North Pole on August 3rd, 1958. She continued on to surface near Greenland, after 96 hours below the surface, and traveling 1,590 nautical miles.
Considering that only 13 years ago, during WWII, submarines were surface vessels that could only submerge for limited amounts of time, the Nautilus was truly a vessel of science fiction achievements.
In February, T Spec Fiction will be returning to the undersea regions with another science fiction vessel, in the 2nd Season of Rebel Wave. Until then keep the spirit of adventure alive!