Boaty – on serious business

What bright spark decided to ask for public suggestions to name a new £200m polar research ship for the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)? It will be a beacon for the UK’s role at the forefront of climate and ocean research. The question unleashed the idiot mob who voted for Boaty MacBoatface – which one presumes they’ll duck once it gets to launch date.

The deal was signed with Birkenhead shipyard Cammell Laird late on November 19 2015; the first steel will be cut this June and completion aimed for 2019.

The deal chart has the anxiously uncertain Saturn square Neptune; a powerfully confident Jupiter trine Pluto; and a formidable Uranus opposition Venus (Mars) square Pluto. That last slightly suggests some mishaps along the way of the build with a frustrating Mars square Pluto; or worse, high-risk in 2025 when it will be seagoing.

All going to plan, the June hull laying again has the confident Jupiter trine Pluto; but also that tricky, sticky Saturn square Neptune, maybe formed into a T square by Mercury. So worrisome.

The launch date in 2019 will have the Saturn Pluto conjunction which is tough, which it would need to be to survive in arctic waters. But it could also point to delays; plus an over-hopeful and maybe over-budget Jupiter square Neptune.

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