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New Horizons' Recently Captured Image Breaks Voyager 1's 27-Year Record

New Horizons' Recently Captured Image Breaks Voyager 1's 27-Year Record

"New Horizons has always been a mission of firsts - first to explore Pluto, first to explore the Kuiper Belt, fastest spacecraft ever launched", New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, notes in a statement.

New Horizons first snapped photos of a star cluster on December 5, 2017, with the subjects being 3.79 billion miles away from Earth.

Voyager 1's record remained unchallenged for almost three decades after NASA turned off its cameras shortly after taking the legendary shot. The spacecraft was first launched in 2006.

December 5, 2017, two weeks before entering "hibernation", the device with the camera LORRI (Long Range Reconnaissance Imager) received the navigation image, which was captured scattered star cluster NGC 3532 "Well Wishes" from the constellation of the Keel.

The space probe was even farther from home than NASA's Voyager 1 when it captured the famous "Pale Blue Dot" image of Earth.

This achievement beat the previous record of Voyager 1.

Meanwhile, New Horizons continues its journey to the edge of the solar system. This means that most of its activities are bound to set distance records. NASA says mission controllers will "bring the spacecraft out of its electronic slumber" this coming summer in anticipation of its next major close encounter, with an object known as 2014 MU69 on January 1, 2019. Now, it's zipping along at more than 700,000 miles (1.1 million kilometers) each day - moving farther and farther out into our solar system.

'New Horizons has always been a mission of firsts - first to explore Pluto, first to explore the Kuiper Belt, fastest spacecraft ever launched, ' said New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

Prior to New Horizons' star shot, the image taken farthest from Earth was one of the Blue Marble snapped by the Voyager 1 spacecraft on February 14, 1990.

According to NASA, the remarkable false-color images sent back by New Horizons are also the closest-ever images captured of objects in the Kuiper Belt. The photos were also the first close shots ever taken of the KBOs.

Now the unit is on its way to its new goal, the double asteroid 2014 MU69 to which he will arrive in January 2019.

There is one record New Horizons won't take from Voyager 1. Should it surpass its extended mission, NASA plans to use it to study the outer heliosphere.

But the New Horizons photos are a worthwhile reminder that as technology improves, and as NASA probes and crafts work their way deeper and deeper into space, there's going to be a wealth of interesting, engrossing, and attractive photos as a result.

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