The mission of the first UK astronaut to fly to the International Space Station with the European Space Agency has been named Principia, following a public vote which drew inspiration from the work of Isaac Newton.
Esa received about 4,000 suggestion from the public, 20 of which have proposed the name Principia, referring to Isaac Newton’s paper Naturalis Principia Mathematica, where the scientist described principal laws of motion and gravity.
Famously pondering why apples fall from trees, Newton wrote down the laws of gravity and laid the basis for working with it, a basic requirement for spaceflight.
“I am delighted with this name that honours one of Britain’s most famous scientists,” said Peake who will spend six months at the ISS. “I hope it will also encourage people to observe the world as if for the first time just as Isaac Newton did.
Peake is scheduled to fly to the ISS in November 2015. Part of his mission it to promote STEM disciplines among children and students.