Europe’s space freighter ATV-5 is named after the founder of the Big Bang theory, Georges Lemaître (the theory of the origins of our universe, not the television show). Georges Lemaître was born in 1894 and developed a career as an astronomer, physics professor and Catholic priest.
Georges Lemaître was the first to suggest that the Universe had a definite beginning where all matter and energy were concentrated in one point – the theory of the Big Bang was born.
120 years after he was born and 13.82 billion years after our Universe began, Georges Lemaîtres will be honoured on the ATV bearing his name. In addition ATV Georges Lemaître will include in its cargo an image of Georges Lemaître that will be signed by the astronauts on the International Space Station. The photo will return to Earth as a testament to the scientist’s legacy.
Georges Lemaître continued to advance science throughout his life. He studied cosmic rays and worked on the three-body problem concerning the motion of three mutually -attracted bodies in space. He died in Louvain, Belgium, in 1966, at the age of 71.