The Nathaniel B. Palmer is an ice-capable research ship in the service of the U.S.National Science Foundation. It is tasked with extended scientific missions in the Antarctic.The vessel carries a helicopter and about four dozen scientists on expeditions that last for months.
The vessel is named after Nathaniel Palmer, the first American credited with sighting Antarctica.
The vessel was purpose-built for the NSF by Edison Chouest Offshore, and was launched in 1992. Edison Chouest continues to own and operate the Palmer, but it is chartered by the NSF.
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