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USS Nautilus, Groton

4.9
#3 of 15 in Things to do in Groton
Military Museum · Hidden Gem · History Museum
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USS Nautilus (SSN-571) was the world's first operational nuclear-powered submarine and the first submarine to complete a submerged transit of the North Pole on 3 August 1958. Her initial commanding officer was Eugene "Dennis" Wilkinson, a widely respected naval officer who set the stage for many of the protocols of today's Nuclear Navy of the US, and who had a storied career during military service and afterwards.
Sharing a name with Captain Nemo's fictional submarine in Jules Verne's classic 1870 science fiction novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and the USS Nautilus (SS-168) that served with distinction in World War II, the new nuclear-powered Nautilus was authorized in 1951. Construction began in 1952, and the boat was launched in January 1954, attended by Mamie Eisenhower, First Lady of the United States, wife of 34th President Dwight D. Eisenhower; it was commissioned the following September into the United States Navy. Nautilus was delivered to the Navy in 1955.

Because her nuclear propulsion allowed her to remain submerged far longer than diesel-electric submarines, she broke many records in her first years of operation and traveled to locations previously beyond the limits of submarines. In operation, she revealed a number of limitations in her design and construction. This information was used to improve subsequent submarines.

Nautilus was decommissioned in 1980 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1982. The submarine has been preserved as a museum ship at the Submarine Force Library and Museum in Groton, Connecticut, where the vessel receives around 250,000 visitors per year.
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USS Nautilus reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
149 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • Interesting to take a tour of an actual decommissioned sub and understand how it must have felt to live in such close confines. Definitely take your time walking through the sub. Be advised if you... 
    Interesting to take a tour of an actual decommissioned sub and understand how it must have felt to live in such close confines. Definitely take your time walking through the sub. Be advised if you...  more »
  • Kids always love visiting this museum. The tour of the boat is a highlight, but the museum has so much information. Without kids I could spend hours there reading and learning. 
    Kids always love visiting this museum. The tour of the boat is a highlight, but the museum has so much information. Without kids I could spend hours there reading and learning.  more »
Google
  • Donations only. Nice gift shop. Great Augmented Reality. Unfortunately the submarine was not present. Lots of fun facts and museum pieces.
  • A very nice museum. The USS Nautilus itself was the first nuclear powered submarine , that is approximately 65 years old now. It's more modern that the WWII subs, but is still an old sub. It is a nice walk through .But obvious sections are off limits. There are mobility issues, so it does limit folks with mobility issues. The supporting museum has nice exhibits. I have been here probably three times now and still enjoy it every time.Unfortunately, she is in dry dock at this time. But they say she should be back sometime in 2022.They offer a virtual tour at the moment.

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