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28 April 2011, 10:18
An artefact from the Portsmouth based Tudor warship Mary Rose is to set forth on a new voyage into space.
The parrel, a three-inch wooden ball used as part of the mechanism to hoist the sails of Henry VIII's flagship, is to be taken on the final flight of the space shuttle Endeavour when it launches tomorrow.
The memento was presented to the crew of the Atlantis space shuttle when they visited the home of the Mary Rose at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard last June.
John Lippiett, chief executive of the Mary Rose Trust, who made the presentation to the astronauts, said: “It was really tremendous to have the opportunity to present this little piece of the Mary Rose to the visiting shuttle crew to take back to Houston and we are thrilled that she will be making history once more on the final mission for Endeavour.
“The Mary Rose was as revolutionary in technological advances 500 years ago as the space shuttle was in the early 1980s.
“Both have helped pioneer exploration and advance the sciences. It is most appropriate to mark their place in history in this manner.”
Endeavour is set to launch at 8.47pm UK time tomorrow (Friday 29th April) for a 14-day mission to the International Space Station.
The Mary Rose has previously had a connection to Nasa as astronaut Michael Foale worked as a volunteer on the ship's excavation in 1981.
The Mary Rose sank in 1545 and was raised from the seabed in 1982. The trust is fundraising for the building of a new museum to house the hull and 19,000 artefacts from the ship.