Newton’s apple tree bound for gravity-free orbit

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Sir Isaac Newton’s famous apple tree is about to leave gravity behind.

Flying aboard space shuttle Atlantis next week will be a 4-inch sliver of the tree from which an apple fell nearly 350 years ago and inspired Newton to discover the law of gravity.

British-born astronaut Piers Sellers is flying the piece of wood for The Royal Society of London.

“I’ll take it up into orbit and let it float around a bit, which will confuse Isaac,” Sellers said in an interview with The Associated Press earlier this week.

The small slice of Newton’s apple tree they offered is “from THE apple tree, from the one that he was looking at when the apple fell down and he got the idea,” stressed Sellers.

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