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When Sir Isaac Newton saw an apple fall from a tree, its downward motion led him to one of the greatest scientific discoveries - the theory of gravitation. Three centuries later, a British astronaut is set to take a piece of the same tree on a gravity-defying mission in the opposite direction.
Piers Sellers, who will be the last Briton to fly on a space shuttle when Atlantis blasts off on its final mission later this week, has packed a four-inch sliver of wood from the tree that inspired the 17th-century physicist in the spaceship’s hold.
The historic memento has been entrusted to Mr