After a complete transformation to modernize and upgrade the research vessel JOIDES Resolution (JR), the ship has set sail from the Singapore shipyard where the work was done, for science sea trials and transit to Honolulu.

The JOIDES Resolution is the U.S. research vessel for exploring and monitoring the sub-seafloor. It operates as part of the international Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP). Already a 20-year workhorse on behalf of scientific ocean drilling, the JOIDES Resolution has been completely refurbished. It's now poised to help IODP continue to push the edge of science by collecting unique sub-seafloor samples and data that would otherwise remain out of reach to researchers.

"We are extremely pleased to see the JOIDES Resolution set sail once more for science – with a vastly improved capability for performing cutting-edge research into the secrets of Earth's past climate and ocean conditions, and our planet's interior and deep biosphere," says Tim Killeen, NSF assistant director for geosciences.

"This is a long-awaited day for the world of ocean research," says Robert Gagosian, president and CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership. "The JOIDES Resolution is operational again for IODP expeditions at an extremely important time, when our need for scientific understanding of our ocean planet – and climate and energy challenges – is at its greatest. The research pursuits of thousands of scientists around the globe will be enhanced in a major way by the future work of the JR."

Expeditions onboard the JR help improve scientific understanding of the causes of natural hazards such as earthquakes and tsunamis; Earth's changing climate conditions over the past 100 million years; methane hydrates – "frozen" deposits of methane gas that may be a major factor in climate change; and future rising sea levels, by examining the evidence of past sea level rise and climate change in seafloor sediments.