USS Nautilus

USS Nautilus

Launched in 1954, the USS Nautilus was the first nuclear-powered submarine ever constructed.

The development of a nuclear propulsion plant by a group of Atomic Energy Commission scientists led by Captain Hyman G. Rickover allowed for the implementation of nuclear technology in submarines. The USS Nautilus was commissioned by Congress in July of 1951, and President Truman laid her keel in June of 1952. The submarine took to the seas in January of 1954 and was commissioned in September of that year. The vessel went on to break all established submerged speed and distance records, and, in 1958, she was the first ship to travel across the North Pole. The Nautilus continued in Navy service until 1980, when she was decommissioned and relocated to Groton, Connecticut, where she now resides. Visitors to the U.S. Navy Submarine Force Museum can tour her decks.