USS Nautilus SSN-571 is the world's first nuclear-powered submarine and was the first vessel to complete a submerged transit across the North Pole.
Its propulsion system was a landmark in the history of naval engineering and submersible craft. During Nautilus' long career, it has established many historic firsts. On May 10, Nautilus headed for a shakedown and its longest submerged cruise was when it traveled 2,100 km from New London to San Juan, Puerto Rico. From 1955 to 1957, Nautilus continued to be used to investigate the effects of submerged speeds and endurance. On February 4, 1957, Nautilus logged its 60,000th nautical mile (111,120 km). In May, Nautilus departed for the Pacific Coast to participate in coastal exercises and the fleet exercise, operation "Home Run," which acquainted units of the Pacific Fleet with the capabilities of nuclear submarines. On July 21, Nautilus returned to New London, Connecticut and departed on August 19 for its first voyage of 2,226 km (1,202 nmi) under polar pack ice.
In early 1959, Nautilus completed its first overhaul on May 1959 - August 1960. On October 24, Nautilus departed New London for its first deployment with the sixth fleet in the Mediterranean Sea and returned to its home-port on December 16. On May 2, 1966, Nautilus returned to its home-port to resume operations with the Atlantic Fleet and log its 300,000th mile underway. In the next year, Nautilus conducted special operations for ComSubLant and then on August 1967, it returned to Portsmouth, and conducted exercises off the southeastern seaboard. On December 1968, Nautilus returned to New London. In 1979, Nautilus set out from Groton, Connecticut for its final voyage, reaching Mare Island Naval Shipyard of Vallejo, California on May 26, 1979. On March 3, 1980, Nautilus was decommissioned and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register.