NASA captures record-breaking images over six billion kilometres from Earth

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The new images released by NASA on Thursday were captured by New Horizons when the spacecraft was more than 6.12 billion km away.

New Horizons made history by clicking the images using its Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI).

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

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

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

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. These pictures show two objects in the Kuiper Belt, the so-called twilight zone on the fringes of our solar system.

With its Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI), New Horizons has observed several Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) and dwarf planets at unique phase angles, as well as Centaurs at extremely high phase angles to search for forward-scattering rings or dust.

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

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That picture was part of a composite of 60 images looking back at the solar system, on February 14, 1990, when Voyager was 3.75 billion miles from Earth.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - The NASA spacecraft that gave us close-ups of Pluto has set a record for the farthest photos ever taken.

New Horizons is sleeping now, resting up for its next big adventure.

New Horizons is reportedly healthy and everything is functioning as planned. It imaged the Wishing Well at 3.79 billion miles away, beating the Blue Dot photo shoot by 40 million miles.

It wasn't until this past December when Voyager 1's record was finally broken. Now, the shuttle is currently on its way to study one or more other Kuiper belt objects. Next to nothing is known about the micro-surfaces of objects like these, Porter said. But that will not be true when New Horizons wakes up in August. Since then it's been heading into the Kuiper Belt, and will carry out a flyby of Kuiper Belt object (KBO) 2014 MU69 in January 2019.

The Kuiper belt object flyby is "not almost as flashy as Pluto", Porter said, but "it's a really unique observation".

The spacecraft was launched in 2006.