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Updated: February 26, 2013

The accomplishments of America's nuclear powered submarines were major news items in the years before the film Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea was released. Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea was the third American science fiction film to feature such ships. The first two were It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955) and The Atomic Submarine (1960).

The submarine USS Nautilus (SSN-571), commissioned in 1954, was the first nuclear powered ship of any kind. In August 1958, she steamed under the Arctic ice cap to make the first crossing from the Pacific to the Atlantic via the North Pole. On 3 August 1958 she became the first ship to reach the North Pole.

On 17 March 1959, the nuclear submarine USS Skate (SSN-578) became the first submarine to surface at the North Pole. While at the Pole, her crew scattered the ashes of Arctic explorer Sir Hubert Wilkins.

The film Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea begins with Seaview in the Arctic on the final phase of her sea trials, which include a dive under the Arctic ice cap.

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