uss nautilus (ssn 571)

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On this date in 1955, USS Nautilus (SSN-571), the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine, casted off lines at 1100 and signaled the memorable and historic message, “Underway On Nuclear Power.” Over the next several years, Nautilus shattered all submerged speed and distance records. She was decommissioned on March 3, 1980, after a career spanning 25 years and over half a million miles steamed.

USS Nautilus (SSN-571) is Commissioned

30 September 1954

USS Nautilus (SSN-571), the world’s first operational nuclear-powered submarine, was commissioned on this day in history, 30 September 1954. She was named after Captain Nemo’s submarine in the Jules Verne novel ‘Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.’ Her nuclear propulsion allowed her to stay submerged for longer periods than was previously possible, in turn letting her become the first submarine to complete a submerged transit to the North Pole. Because she was the first nuclear-powered submarine, much of Nautilus’ service was devoted to testing, the results of which were then applied to later nuclear submarines. After several decades of service, Nautilus was was decommissioned in 1980 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1982. The submarine has been preserved as a museum of submarine history in Groton, Connecticut.