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The launch countdown of the STS-132 Atlantis space shuttle mission has started.
Liftoff is scheduled for May 14 at 18:20 GMT.

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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.

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Various trees are claimed to be "the" apple tree which Newton describes. The King's School, Grantham, claims that the tree was purchased by the school, uprooted and transported to the headmaster's garden some years later. The staff of the [now] National Trust-owned Woolsthorpe Manor dispute this, and claim that a tree present in their gardens is the one described by Newton. A descendant of the original tree can be seen growing outside the main gate of Trinity College, Cambridge, below the room Newton lived in when he studied there. The National Fruit Collection at Brogdale can supply grafts from their tree, which appears identical to Flower of Kent, a coarse-fleshed cooking variety.
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Space shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to begin a 12-day flight to the International Space Station with a launch at 2:20 pm EDT on Friday, May 14, from NASA's Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. The STS-132 mission is Atlantis' final scheduled flight.
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The Space Shuttle Atlantis (STS-132) is scheduled to launch from LC-39A, Kennedy Space Centre, Florida, at 18:19 GMT (2:19 p.m. EDT), 14th May, 2010.

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