HomeNews & MediaPress ReleasesPress Release 


In memory of Clyde W. Tombaugh, the American astronomer who discovered Pluto in 1930, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft carries a small aluminum canister containing some of Tombaugh's cremated remains, donated by his family. These remains will fly past Pluto with New Horizons on July 14, 2015, and then on past Kuiper Belt objects in the succeeding years.

The memorial canister, about two inches wide and half-an-inch tall, is attached to the inside, upper deck of the spacecraft. Its inscription reads:

Interned herein are remains of American Clyde W. Tombaugh, discoverer of Pluto and the solar system's "third zone." Adelle and Muron's boy, Patricia's husband, Annette and Alden's father, astronomer, teacher, punster, and friend: Clyde W. Tombaugh (1906-1997).

Credit: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

To save photo:
PC: right click, choose "Save Image As..."
Mac: Control-click, choose "Download Image to Disk."

Return to Press Release