The Paisley Pattern has already carried the name of its home town around the globe – now it’s going out of this world.
A swatch of the Paisley Pattern several inches in size has been launched into space inside a capsule on board a rocket bound for the International Space Station.
The Space X Falcon 9 rocket on the CRS-9 mission launched from Cape Canaveral just before 6am this morning (around 00.45 US EST).
Once up it will orbit the planet at speeds in excess of 17,000mph around 220 miles above Earth on a journey of more than 15 million in total over the next six weeks.
The patch of pattern itself came from a shawl held by Paisley Museum as part of a special reserve to the main collection set aside specifically for research purposes.
When the rocket comes back to earth, the swatch of pattern will be recovered and brought back to Paisley where bosses on the town’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 hope to be able to put it on display.
The interplanetary link-up was the brainchild of Paisley Buddie Andy Campbell – the commercial director of the International Space Station Educational Trust (ISSET).
ISSET is the organisation which brought the week-long Mission Discovery space school to Renfrewshire – which is led by real NASA astronauts and sees groups of local pupils design their own science experiments, with the winner launched into space and carried out on board the ISS.
Andy said: “I’ve been fortunate to be working with ISSET for a number of years now and the work they do sending school experiments into space is amazing.
“We’ve ran Mission Discovery in Paisley for three years now and given the town’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021, I thought it would be a great idea to organise a swatch of Paisley Pattern from the Museum to be sent into and returned from space.
“The Pattern is a global success, this way it will get to orbit the planet!”
Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall added: “The Paisley Pattern has already carried the town’s name around the world – now it’s conquered the galaxy too!
“Things like this are a great way to remind people of Paisley and Renfrewshire’s connections with the rest of the world and of what the area has to offer residents and visitors alike.
“For example Paisley already has a great vantage point from which to enjoy a view of the stars, with Coats Observatory one of the few remaining public observatories in Scotland.
“I look forward to being able to welcome the piece of pattern back to Paisley once it has been recovered from its epic journey.”