The R/V Sally Ride off La Jolla Shores Beach. Photo by Chris Jennewein

A state-of-the-art research vessel built for Scripps Institution of Oceanography and honoring astronaut Sally Ride arrived at its new home Friday.

The R/V Sally Ride stopped briefly off Scripps Pier on the way to its dock on Point Loma as hundreds of Scripps researchers gathered to welcome it. As the ship maneuvered in circles and blew its horn, the crowd waved signs and took photos.

The crowd gathered on Scripps Pier. Photo by Chris Jennewein

Dr. Margaret, Leinen, director of Scripps, described the new ship as a “visceral symbol” the the world-famous institution’s ties to the sea.

“It’s such a thrill. Most of our ships are all over the world. It’s giving us a big Sally Ride hello with its horn,” she said while watching from the pier.

The 238-foot-long, Navy-owned vessel was built in Anacortes, WA. It is named for the first American woman to travel in space. Ride taught at UC San Diego until her death four years ago.

The ship is one of the most technologically advanced oceanographic research vessels in the world and will put that technology to work in missions throughout the northern Pacific Ocean, starting with a survey of the California Current in November.

Public tours of the Sally Ride will be offered Oct. 30 at Broadway Pier in downtown San Diego.

Scripps personnel with signs welcoming the R/V Sally Ride. Photo by Chris Jennewein
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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.