The JOIDES Resolution (known as "The Rez") started life in 1978 as a deep ocean oil drilling rig named, euphoniously the Secdo/BP 471.  In 1985, after an extensive conversion in Pascagoula, Mississippi, the ship was re-christened as the Resolution to begin a course of oceanographic research, under the auspices of the Ocean Drilling Program1 at Texas A & M University2, that continued through the millennium.  The Rez is the latest in a long line of scientific research vessels beginning with HMS Challenger, a British vessel commanded by Captain James Cook in the 1800's that extensively explored the Pacific Ocean and the Antarctic.

The Rez is about 470 feet long (143m) with a large helipad covering the stern and a drill tower that stands over 200 feet (61m) above the water.  The drill rig's capacity is over a million pounds, translating into a potential drilling depth of over 30,000 feet (9150m) in waters as deep as 27,000 feet (8200m). The rig can suspend as much as 9,150 m (30,020 ft) of drill pipe to an ocean depth as great as 8,235 m (27,018 ft). 

The scientific drilling performed with this ship proceeds around the clock once the Rez is on location, assisted by an international crew of scientists, marine technicians, drillers, marine crew, cooks and housekeeping folk.  Life onboard is like living in a small, very strange town.    

1 The Ocean Drilling Program Website:
Texas A& M website:

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.