The Canopus was launched on February 12, 1965 in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and was commissioned in October 1965. The Canopus was designed to provide support and repair services to Polaris Missile submarines, and in 1969, became the first Tender to provide services for Poseidon Missile submarines. Later, the ship was converted to service Trident Micelle boats. USS Canopus was a virtual floating industrial city, providing a full range of repair and supply services to its tended boats.
By using tenders such as the Canopus, the Navy was able to base submarines away from its shipyards. Basing submarines in remote locations allowed the boats to spend less time in transit, and more time on Patrol. Canopus provided services to submarines in Charleston, South Carolina; Holy Loch, Scotland; Rota, Spain; and Kings Bay, Georgia.
The Canopus was decommissioned in Norfolk, Virginia in October 1994, and is currently located on the James River, awaiting sale.
USS Canopus (AS-34) is the second ship to bear that name. The original Canopus (AS-9) was a part of the Asiatic Fleet until sunk during the early months of World War II.