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NASA Spacecraft Takes Photo From 3.79 Billion Miles

NASA Spacecraft Takes Photo From 3.79 Billion Miles

The false-colour images were taken at the furthest ever point from Earth captured by a spacecraft - they're also the closest ever images of objects in the Kupier Belt.

The photos taken far into space are a part of the New Horizons spacecraft mission, the fifth spacecraft to go beyond the outer planets.

NASA says the routine calibration frame of the "Wishing Well" galactic open star cluster was taken on December 5th 2017.

NASA's New Horizonsspacecraft released photos taken from the greatest distance from Earth ever, the agency announced Thursday. They were captured 3.79 billion miles (6.12 billion kilometers) from Earth in December.

NASA said in a statement that New Horizons snapped a picture of a group of stars known as the "Wishing Well" when the spacecraft was about 3.79 billion miles (6.12 billion kilometers) from Earth.

New Horizons was launched on January 19, 2006.

Talking about the new milestone images is New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern, who said, "New Horizons has always been a mission of firsts - first to explore Pluto, first to explore the Kuiper Belt, fastest spacecraft ever launched".

"And now, we've been able to make images farther from Earth than any spacecraft in history", Stern added.

"New Horizons just couldn't be better".

The Kuiper Belt is similar to an asteroid belt, but further out from the Sun and composed of dwarf planets and frozen ice - rather than rocky bodies.

New Horizons broke its own record by taking the image of the two KBOs shown above.

The spacecraft became the first to fly over Pluto in 2015, and the first to explore the Kuiper Belt. Stern is the principal investigator of New Horizons mission. It's now hibernating until it readies for launch again on June 4, but the spacecraft hopes to observe at least two-dozen other Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs), dwarf planets and "Centaurs", or KBOs in unstable orbits that cross the orbits of the giant planets, upon its return later this year.

New Horizons willI become the first to do a fly-by of one of the many mysterious Kuiper Belt objects when it will come in close range of "Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69" shortly after midnight on January 1, 2019.

New Horizons is reportedly healthy and everything is functioning as planned.

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