NASA’s maiden spacecraft New Horizons has set a new record of capturing the farthest images from Earth ever taken by any human-made spacecraft – surpassing the previous record set by Voyager-1 of 6.06 billion kilometres from Earth.
New Horizons is the fifth spacecraft that has travelled into deep spaces beyond the outer planets of our solar system and has already set a zillion space records. Adding to the long list, NASA’s New Horizons has captured the farthest images from Earth by a spacecraft, surpassing Voyager 1’s record of clicking a picture when it was 6.06 billion kilometres away from our planet. Now the record breaking images sent by New Horizons may not be its most spectacular ones, but they pioneer in their own ways by becoming the farthest images ever captured away from Earth by any spaceship.
The image were taken from a distance of 6.12 billion kilometres from Earth, as a part of routine calibration frame of the “Wishing Well” galactic open star cluster, made by Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on December 5, 2017. And we are not whining about the quality of the black and white picture of Wishing Well taken by New Horizons as these star clusters are around 1,300 light years away from Earth. NASA researchers said, “LORRI broke its own record just two hours later with images of Kuiper Belt objects 2012 HZ84 and 2012 HE85 – further demonstrating how nothing stands still when you are covering more than 1.1 million kilometres of space each day.”
New Horizons is still in good condition and is currently hibernation but NASA plans to awaken it again on June 4, 2018 to prepare for a flyby of Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69 in mid-2019. While travelling 1.1 million kilometres each day, New Horizons is collecting more and more views of the distant ends of our endless universe, opening up new horizons for humans. Continuing with this theme, New Horizons will become the spacecraft to have conducted the most remote flyby in the history of human-made robotic space exploration.