Space Exploration Chronology: 1930 - 1939 | Pluto Discovered | Gyroscopic Guidance Control

SCROLL UP | 1930 | 1932 | Thanks | SCROLL DOWN

American astronomer, Clyde Tombaugh, discovers Pluto

Pluto with its moons Charon, Nix and Hydra. Image made with Hubble Telescope.

Search began 1929
Discovery made February 18, 1930
Objectives Find the mysterious, trans-Neptunian, Planet-X, which was predicted by Astronomers for decades.
Results Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto, which became known as the ninth planet until 2006, when it was re-classified as a Dwarf Planet.

Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto while working at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona. Hew was systematically comparing images of the same location in the skies to identify moving objects. The name was suggested by an 11 year old English student Venetia Burney, it was chosen amidst a sea of alternative proposals. Pluto was demoted to a Dward Planet in 2006, after a long debate. To date, Pluto remains largely unexplored. It is widely accepted, however, that Pluto bears more resemblances to Kuiper belt objects, than to planets. In 2015 it will be explored by the New Horizons NASA spacecraft.*

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Dr. Robert H. Goddard develops first guidance control system for rocket flight

Goddard achieved guidance of rocket flight by gyroscopic control. Steering was conducted via vanes in the motor blast.*

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  1. NASA: Clyde Tombaugh
  2. NASA: Dr. Robert H. Goddard, American Rocketry Pioneer
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