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a three-masted English corvette with sail rigging and an 885-kilowatt (1200-hp) auxiliary engine. The Challenger was 62.5 m long and had a displacement of 2,300 tons.
The Challenger was refitted in 1872 into an oceanographic vessel for hydrologic, geological, chemical, biological, and meteorological research. Commanded by Captain G. Nares, the Challenger made a round-the-world cruise from 1872 to 1876, carrying an expedition headed by C. W. Thomson. The expedition collected data on the physical and chemical characteristics of the water, on bottom relief, and on the geologic structure of the floor of the world ocean.
The Challenger was the first of the world’s oceanographic vessels. A modern US research vessel used for deep-sea drilling, the Glomar Challenger, was named in honor of the Challenger. Built in 1968, the Glomar Challenger has a 7.36-megawatt (10,000-hp) engine. It is 122 m long, has a displacement of 10,500 tons, and can run at a speed of 12 knots.