Nugget of Knowledge: Who traveled the farthest from Earth?

The astronomer who discovered Pluto whizzed by it in 2015

Nugget of Knowledge

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Has any human ever traveled beyond the moon?

The astronauts aboard Apollo 13 — Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert and Fred Haise — did travel farther than any other humans.

An explosion damaged their spacecraft, and they swung around the back of the moon and returned to Earth.

True, all Apollo spacecraft orbited the moon, but Apollo 13’s swung out farther. No living human has been so far from home as its crew.

But there is one human who has traveled much, much farther, and he’s still out there.

Astronomer Clyde Tombaugh, born in 1906 and who died in 1997, is famous for discovering Pluto in 1930.

A sample of his ashes is onboard NASA’s New Horizons probe, launched toward the outer Solar System in 2006.

This little piece of Clyde flew past Pluto in 2015 and is now deep into the Kuiper Belt.

As of February 2018, the astronomer’s remains are more than 40 astronomical units from home.

One astronomical unit is the distance between the Earth and the Sun. That’s 93 million miles so Clyde Tombaugh is 3.72 billion miles from Earth — the first interstellar human, even though he’s in powder form.

Did you miss an episode of Daybreak or want to re-visit a previous “Nugget”? View previous “Nugget of Knowledge” entries on

If you have an idea for a “Nugget of Knowledge,” send your idea in an email to