HMS Challenger (1858)

HMS Challenger
Painting of Challenger by William Frederick Mitchell
RN EnsignUnited Kingdom
BuilderWoolwich Dockyard
Launched13 February 1858
DecommissionedChatham Dockyard, 1878
FateBroken for scrap, 1921
General characteristics
Class and typePearl-class corvette
Displacement2,137 long tons (2,171 t)[1]
Tons burthen1465 bm[1]
  • 225 ft 3 in (68.66 m) oa
  • 200 ft (61 m) (gundeck)
Beam40 ft 4 in (12.29 m)
  • 17 ft 4 in (5.28 m) (forward)
  • 18 ft 10 in (5.74 m) (aft)
Depth of hold23 ft 11 in (7.29 m)
Installed power
Sail planFull-rigged ship
Speed10.7 knots (19.8 km/h) (under steam)
  • 20 × 8-inch (42 cwt) muzzle-loading smoothbore cannons on broadside trucks
  • 1 × 10-inch/68 pdr (95 cwt) muzzle-loading smoothbore cannons pivot-mounted at bow
HMS Scout, a sister ship of Challenger

HMS Challenger was a Pearl-class corvette of the Royal Navy launched on 13 February 1858 at the Woolwich Dockyard. She served the flagship of the Australia Station between 1866 and 1870.[2]

As part of the North America and West Indies Station, she took part in naval operations during the Second French intervention in Mexico, including the occupation of Veracruz, in 1862. She was assigned as the flagship of Australia Station in 1866, undertaking a punitive expedition in Fiji before leaving the station four years later.[2][3]

She was picked to undertake the first global marine research expedition: the Challenger expedition. She carried a complement of 243 officers, scientists and sailors when she embarked on her 68,890-nautical-mile (127,580 km) journey.

The United States Space Shuttle Challenger was named after the ship.[4] Her figurehead is on display in the foyer of the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton.

  1. ^ a b c d Winfield, R.; Lyon, D. (2004). The Sail and Steam Navy List: All the Ships of the Royal Navy 1815–1889. London: Chatham Publishing. p. 209. ISBN 978-1-86176-032-6. OCLC 52620555.
  2. ^ a b Bastock, J. (1988). Ships on the Australia Station. Frenchs Forest: Child & Associates Publishing. pp. 47–48. ISBN 978-0-86777-348-4.
  3. ^ "Fiji". The Sydney Mail. Vol. IX, no. 429. 19 September 1868. p. 11. Retrieved 9 April 2018 – via NLA Trove.
  4. ^ Grinter, K., ed. (3 October 2000). "Orbiter Vehicles: Challenger (STA-099, OV-99)". Kennedy Space Center. Merritt Island: National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Archived from the original on 3 February 2009. Retrieved 15 March 2023.