Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Scientists with a sense of Humor

Sir Isaac Newton's legacy is heading into Space.

A four-inch sliver of bark from Sir Isaac's famous Apple Tree is headed into Space on the Space Shuttle Atlantis to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the Royal Society in London.

The astronaut who is carrying it, Piers Sellers, said,

"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 Atlantis is on its way to the International Space Station where “I’ll take it up into orbit and let it float around a bit, which will confuse Isaac, and bring it back and give it to the society,” he said.

Irony, right?

At least scientists have a sense of humor!

(This is the real Apple Tree at Sir Isaac Newton's homestead in England!)


Unknown said...

I think you are pulling my leg...apple trees don't live THAT long, and besides, scientists that go to the moon are soooooooooo serious about things. Still, I like the irony part.

Ashton said...

This is really cool.

Newton's laws of motions were the only part of physics class I actually enjoyed! And I think he'd be ecstatic about going into space.

Sharlene T. said...

Boy, that is some old apple tree. Apples trees are the longest living of the fruit trees and some make it to 100 years old, so...thought-provoking. Thank you.

かわやま said...

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Norma said...

Apple trees have relatively short life spans, at least in the USA. Maybe England has a different breed.

Unknown said...

"While it's up there, it will be experiencing no gravity"

This is of course completely incorrect. Objects in orbit feel gravity just like anything else.