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Alan Grant reports
"100 years since the launch of Discovery in Dundee"
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Alan Grant reports
"Discovery began the golden age of Antarctic expedition"
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Wednesday, 21 March, 2001, 14:22 GMT
Scott's ship celebrates 100 years
RRS Discovery
Many events have been arranged to mark the centenary
World-renowned explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes is taking part in celebrations in Dundee to mark the centenary of a vessel of another great pioneer - Captain Scott.

He will join Nasa astronaut Dr Bonnie Dunbar and descendants of Captain Scott's crew to mark 100 years since the launch of the RRS Discovery.

The vessel, launched in Dundee on 21 March 1901, returned to its home port in 1986, and has been a huge draw for visitors ever since.

Dundee Heritage Trust (DHT) - which maintains the attraction at the city's Discovery Point - plans to hold events throughout the year.

Robert Falcon Scott set sail on the Discovery in August 1901 on his voyage to the Antarctic.

RRS Discovery, Dundee
RRS Discovery: 100 years old
Stewart Brymer, chairman of DHT, said: "It will be an honour for me to welcome such distinguished guests to Dundee and to be board the Discovery as we officially mark the centenary of what is a truly great ship."

Sir Ranulph, patron of the Discovery 100 fundraising appeal, will join Captain Scott's grandson Falcon Scott to raise a toast to the vessel.

The Discovery was in service for 50 years, serving generations of scientists contributing to some of the most important maritime research work of the day.

The 1901 Discovery crew
Descendants of the original crew will mark the centenary
In 1922, she became the Royal Research Ship Discovery, and remains the only research vessel to be nominated within the UK core collection of UK maritime treasures.

Last week Scottish schoolchildren on board the Dundee visitor attraction took part in a live video link-up with a group of astronauts orbiting the earth.

The crew of Nasa's space shuttle Discovery - named after Captain Scott's vessel - faced questions from pupils who won the chance in an essay competition.

The event - linking two pioneers of exploration - was arranged by Dundee Heritage Trust and Nasa.

The shuttle blasted off earlier this month to link up with the International Space Station 250 miles above the earth.

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