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Michelle Obama Places Omen on New Atomic Submarine

© AP Photo / ASSOCIATED PRESSMichelle Obama at solemn ceremony of launching a new Navy submarine at a shipyard in Connecticut.
Michelle Obama at solemn ceremony of launching a new Navy submarine at a shipyard in Connecticut. - Sputnik International
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First Lady of the United States failed to break a bottle of champagne against the hull of the USS Illinois on the first take at the launching ceremony.

Michelle Obama - Sputnik International
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The accident occurred on Saturday at the solemn ceremony of the launch of a new Navy submarine at a shipyard in Connecticut. Michelle Obama christened the submarine in honor of her home state — "Illinois" — and broke a bottle of champagne against its hull.

Unfortunately, it took the first lady three takes to break the bottle. And if it fails to break on the first try, it is considered an omen of misfortune among marines. Many link grievous fates of such vessels as Legend, Aurora and even Costa Concordia to bad luck that followed them after the bottle didn't break.

Obama called the submarine a "technological wonder."

The newly launched US vessel is the 13th in the Virginia class of submarines. "Virginia" submarines can perform a range of missions including anti-submarine combat, delivery of Special Forces, surveillance, and inshore operations. Besides standard armament they also have equipment for special operations like air lock chambers for frogmen and deck fastenings for mini-submarines.  

The "Illinois" atomic submarine cost almost $3 billion USD. It will carry a crew of more than 130 and is armed with "Tomahawk" cruise missiles and torpedoes.

Last year Obama wrote her initials on a steel plate used in the sub's construction at a keel-laying ceremony. She joins other first ladies who have sponsored submarines, among them Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton.

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