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21st Century Science Meets 18th Century Science at the Australian National Maritime Museum

From January 7 until January 10 the Australian National Maritime Museum will be hosting one of the world’s most advanced Oceanographic study vessels, the R/V Falkor, before it commences a year-long study of the oceans around Australia.

It will be berthed next to the replica HMB Endeavour – one of the 18th Century’s most famous science vessels which will be undertaking a series of voyages around Australia as part of the Encounters 2020 program. (

The Falkor and the Endeavour will be open for the general public on January 8 and 9 from 10 am to 5 pm (last tour 4.10 pm).

The Endeavour

On board you glimpse a sailor's life during one of history's great maritime adventures, Captain Cook's epic 1768-71 world voyage. Look and you'll see almost 30 kilometres of rigging and 750 wooden blocks or pulleys. The masts and spars carry 28 sails that spread approximately 10,000 sq feet (930 m2) of canvas.

In the galley below is the huge stove, called a firehearth - state of the art in 1768. The Great Cabin is where Cook worked and dined, sharing the space with famous botanists Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander.

Hundreds of thousands of visitors have come on board to see how Cook and his men and Banks and his botanists lived and worked.

The Falkor

The Schmidt Ocean Institute, a nonprofit organization started by Eric and Wendy Schmidt to advance marine research, has a research ship Falkor that conducts expeditions at sea and is made available for free to scientists around the world--it's the only year-round seagoing philanthropic research vessel in the world. Falkor is bringing a science ROV (underwater robot) to Australia for the first time to explore deep sea canyons and coral reefs that have never been seen before.  

The diving robot is part of a year-long initiative to conduct seven science expeditions along all four sides of the Australian continent, with the first four-week expedition beginning Jan. 26. The footage and samples collected will have important implications for the sustainability and protection of these underwater ecosystems—and for similar habitats worldwide that are in peril because of rising ocean temperatures.

The two ships offer a wonderful perspective of how science has shaped our modern world.

Media can tour the vessels and meet the scientists

Interviews available with:

  • Dr. Julie Trotter, University of Western Australia
  • Dr. Malcolm McCulloch, Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
  • Brendan Brooke, Environmental Geosciences Division, Geoscience Australia
  • Dr. Karen Miller, Australian Institute of Marine Science, University of Western Australia
  • Dr. Oscar Pizarro, University of Sydney Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR)
  • Dr. Carlie Wiener, Director of Marine Communications, Schmidt Ocean Institute
  • Eric King, Director of Operations, Schmidt Ocean Institute


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