The apple tree that thumped Sir Isaac Newton on his genius little head and kicked off his theory of gravitation is finally getting its due, as a piece of it is going to enjoy a free ride up to orbit. It even gets to bring a picture of ol' Isaac with it!
The Royal Society in London is supplying the four-inch-long chunk and picture to British astronaut Piers Sellers, who is scheduled to head up to the International Space Station on May 14th aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis. The gift of astro-wood will also commemorate 350th anniversary of the society.
"We're delighted to take this piece of Sir Isaac Newton's apple tree to orbit. While it's up there, it will be experiencing no gravity, so if it had an apple on it, the apple wouldn't fall," Sellers said of the mission. "I'm pretty sure that Sir Isaac would have loved to see this, assuming he wasn't spacesick, as it would have proved his first law of motion to be correct."
The tree, located in Woolsthorpe Manor (pictured above) in Lincolnshire in the UK, inspired Isaac Newton back in 1665. The space-chunk will be returned to Earth at the end of Sellers' missions, when it and the picture are added to the Royal Society's archive collection for display.
Via The Register