If all goes as scheduled, Sir Isaac Newton's apple tree - which inspired him to formulate his Universal Law of Gravitation - will launch to space next Friday at 2.20pm Eastern Time (Saturday, 4.20am AEST). Not the whole tree, mind you, but just this piece:
The piece has been donated by the Royal Society, alongside an image of Newton himself. According Dr Piers Sellers - the astronaut who will carry the artefacts:
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. 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.
Now, there is a great idea: They should just get Newton's body from Westminster Abbey and launch it into space. [Daily Mail]