The fifth HMS Challenger (launched 1858) was a steam assisted British naval corvette. In 1862 she took part in operations against Mexico, including the occupation of Vera Cruz, and in 1866 a punitive operation against some Fijian natives to avenge the murder of a missionary and some of his dependents. This vessel is noted for carrying the first global marine research expedition: the Challenger expedition.
To enable her to probe the depths, the Challenger's guns had been removed and her spars reduced to make more space available. Laboratories, extra cabins and a special dredging platform were installed. She was loaded with specimen jars, alcohol for preservation of samples, microscopes and chemical apparatus, trawls and dredges, thermometers and water sampling bottles, sounding leads and devices to collect sediment from the sea bed and great lengths of rope with which to suspend the equipment into the ocean depths. In all she was supplied with 181 miles (290 km or 335 km?) of Italian hemp for sounding, trawling and dredging.
The Challenger carried a complement of 243 officers, scientists and crew when she embarked on her 68,890 nautical mile (127,670 km) journey.
Despite the great success of the Challenger Expedition, the Challenger suffered an ignominious fate. She was commissioned as a Coast Guard and Royal Naval Reserve training ship at Harwich in July 1876. She was finally paid off at the Chatham Dockyards in 1878
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Thanks to Dr. David C. Bossard for preparing these wonderful study`s