The ashes of the discoverer of Pluto travels in a spacecraft

The ashes of the discoverer of Pluto travels in a spacecraft

Of all space objects, man managed to step only on the Earth and the Moon. But technically, mankind has long flown through the outer solar system, got to Pluto and continues to fly in the Kuiper belt. Of course, this is not about a living person, but dust traveling in a spacecraft.

Fly further and further

The ashes of the discoverer of Pluto travels in a spacecraft

Photo of Pluto taken by New Horizons spacecraft

In 2006 one of the most important modern missions started. This is a NASA spacecraft New Horizons. Its main goal is to examine the dwarf planet Pluto and the nearby satellite Charon for the first time from an approximate distance. The apparatus performed research in flight, so no landings.

Along the way, New Horizons managed to cross the orbits of Mars and the gas giants, and in 2015 sent rare photos of the surface of Pluto. Moreover, the resolution level of the survey exceeded the known capabilities of the Hubble Space Telescope. After that, the ship moved on, photographed Quavar and analyzed the environment of trans-Neptunian objects. More recently (January 1, 2019), the mission moved to a new level, since the device made a close flight near asteroid 2014 MU69.

However, the spacecraft does not travel alone. There is a passenger on board , or more precisely, a piece of it. This is part of the dust of a famous astronomer Clyde Tombo. But how did he get there and how did he deserve such an honor?

Discoverer of Pluto

The ashes of the discoverer of Pluto travels in a spacecraft

Clyde Tombo, first of all, was remembered by the fact that found Pluto. As a young employee of the Lowell Observatory, he was assigned to view photographs obtained from the search program for planet X. In 1930 he noticed a moving object, which later turned out to be Pluto.

Tombo received many prestigious awards for the discovery. Also in his honor called the area on Pluto. He died in 1997 at the age of 90. The body was cremated, but some of the ashes were preserved.

Dust on a spaceship

A part of the father to the dwarf planet decided to send the daughter Tombo - Annette. She said:

When he looked at Pluto, he saw only a speck of light. I think he would like to see the planet discovered by him with his own eyes. This is simply amazing. ”

Engineers manufactured a special container for a small amount of dust (not more than an ounce) of Clyde Tombo. It was attached to the inside of the upper deck of the New Horizons apparatus. There is also a memo

The remains of the American Clyde Tombo, the discoverer of Pluto and the third zone of the Solar System” are stored here.


New Horizons are moving deeper into the Kuiper belt. One day the ship will enter the interstellar space, and the first human remains will be beyond the Solar System! I wonder how the newcomers will react to the find?

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