NASA Exhibits the Most Distant Images Taken by a Spaceship

11 February, 2018, 05:30 | Author: Lynette Payne
  • NASA Probe Captures Farthest Images Taken Away From Earth

Voyager-1 held up its record-breaking record for almost 27 years, until December 5, 2017, when New Horizons took a photo at 6,099,413,760 km from Earth.

The last time they did this was 5 December, when New Horizons took a routine calibration image of a cluster of stars, breaking a record for the most distant photograph ever taken.

The record was previously held by NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft, which snapped the image data for the famous "Pale Blue Dot" image on February 14, 1990.

Not long after that achievement in 1990, Voyager 1's cameras were switched off, but has since drifted endlessly into space for the past 27 years and will continue to do so for possibly millions of years.

Shortly after midnight Eastern Time on January 1, 2019 - NASA's New Horizons spacecraft will buzz by the most primitive and most distant object ever explored. According to the principal investigator of the mission, Alan Stern, New Horizons has been a first-run operation: first exploring Pluto is also the first to track the Kuiper Belt, and-in addition-the fastest spacecraft ever launched.

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Most of the time, New Horizons is sleeping - hibernating, to save energy.

Launched in 2006, New Horizons spacecraft is created to explore worlds at the our solar system. The spacecraft is also making nearly continuous measurements of the plasma, dust and neutral-gas environment during its journey.

The new false-color images show objects in the Kuiper Belt, a donut-shaped ring that surrounds our solar system and is likely full of comets, icy dwarf planets, and asteroids. Mission controllers at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, will bring the spacecraft out of its electronic slumber on June 4 and begin a series of system checkouts and other activities to prepare New Horizons for the MU69 encounter. The transmission rate for New Horizons is only about 2 kilobits per second.

New Horizons will fly about three times closer to MU69 than it did to Pluto in July 2015, allowing the spacecraft's cameras to provide a more detailed look at the object's surface. It performed an unprecedented flyby study of the Pluto system in 2015, offering a dramatic view of the dwarf planet and its satellites. As of this writing, it's the farthest image ever made from Earth. The Jupiter flyby provided a gravity assist that increased New Horizons' speed; the flyby also enabled a general test of New Horizons' scientific capabilities, returning data about the planet's atmosphere, moons, and magnetosphere.

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