A U.S. Navy research vessel being built at a shipyard in Anacortes will be named after Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon.

Armstrong passed away August 25, 2012. His widow, Carol, will serve as the sponsor for the ship, which isn't scheduled to be completed until late 2014.

The Auxiliary General Oceanographic Research ship, referred to as AGOR 27, will house acoustic equipment capable of mapping the deepest parts of the ocean. It also has on-board laboratories capable of a variety of oceanographic research.

Since Armstrong's name will be assigned to the first ship of the AGOR design, the entire class of ships will be known as the Armstrong class of research vessels.

The ship is under construction at Dakota Creek Industries, Inc. in Anacortes. The ship's instruction is being funded by the Office of Naval Research; after delivery, it will be operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts.

AGOR 27 will be 238 feet in length, have a beam length of 50 feet, and operate at more than 12 knots.

Before joining the astronaut program, Armstrong was a U.S. Navy aviator.

Compiled by's Elizabeth Wiley.

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