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Nautilus Periscope

Submarine USS Nautilus Museum Photos

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Officer's Quarters
Crew's Bunks
Attack Center
Radar, Radios, & Sonar
Control Room & Navigation
Crew's Mess
Other Interior Views

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Experimental Minisub SS X-1
Swimmer Delivery Vehicle SDV
Italian Minisub Maiale
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SS-571 Periscope Array Modern Submarine Helm SS-571 Bow
Experimental Submarine SS X-1 Italian Minisub Maiale Japanese Type A Minisub

Submarine USS Nautilus SS-571

The USS Nautilus is a the world's first Nuclear powered Submarine. The Nautilus's specs are:

Length: 319 feet
Beam: 27 feet
Draught: 22 feet
Crew: 13 Officers 92 Men
Displacement: Surface - 3,500 tons / Submerged - 4,090 tons
Max Speed: Surface - 22kts design, 17kts practical / Submerged - 25kts (reported - apparently at over 17 knots on the surface the sub begins diving on its own due to the hull's design)
Range: Limited to oxygen supply - estimated to be several months
Fuel Capacity: Reactor capacity unknown, but absence of fuel tanks allows for more room than in diesel subs
Diving Depth: 700' + (reported - all depth gauges are covered over)
Armament: 21" torpedoes in 6 tubes with 18 additional torpedoes for reloads
Power Plant: One pressurised water nuclear reactor producing 15,000 shaft hp to steam turbines driving twin screws
Launching Date: January 21, 1954 at the Electric Boat Shipyard in Groton, Connecticut

You can visit the Submarine USS Nautilus at the US Navy Submarine Force Museum in Groton, CT.

The admission is free and the tours were self guided with a wand-like radio device that broadcast a different narration for each area of the boat. The interior was pretty much spotless. Almost all the areas are walled off in plexiglas but there wasn't so much as a smudge on any of it. They must come in and clean it every night. It is a challenge for photographs with the reflection but most areas are well lit. The staff certainly had a sense of humor posing some of the dummies. The narration was well done and informative, and cut off sharply as you transitioned between areas. Unlike some other museums there are no tour guides and the staff on hand were unable to answer a few questions I had.

The museum building has periscopes visitors can use, a modern submarine helm center, various torpedoes and sub launched missiles, a replica of the Revolutionary War submarine Turtle, and a number of other interesting exhibits. In front of the museum are 4 minisubs - a Japanese Type A minisub of the type used at Pearl Harbor, the Experimental Sub SS X-1, an Italian Maiale minisub (the inspiration for the British Chariot), and the Swimmer Delivery Vehicle. There is also a full sized conning tower, a deck gun, and a ballistic missile hatch assembly.

There is a gift shop with a moderate selection of items, but oddly no Nautilus hats. There's no snack bar and the nearest food is on the Military Highway near 95. If you want to get there early there is no parking on site before the gate is opened - the gate is opened around 8:45. Check the museum's website for current hours. The sub has steep stairs and is not handicapped accessible.

Other Submarine Museums and Exhibits