NASA finds Chandrayaan lander’s debris

NASA finds Chandrayaan lander’s debris

S Murari

The National Aeronautical Space Agency( NASA) of the US on Tuesday released an image of the spot on the moon’s surface where Chandrayaan2’s rover Vikram crashlanded on Sept 7 and lost contact with the earth, leading to Indian Space Research Organisation giving up the search after a few days.

In a twitter NASA said: The #Chandrayaan2 Vikram lander has been found by our @NASAMoon mission, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. See the first mosaic of the impact site:

NASA tweeted late on Monday with images: 'After receiving this tip, the LROC team confirmed the identification by comparing before and after images. When the images for the first mosaic were acquired the impact point was poorly illuminated and thus not easily identifiable,' NASA said.

The hardlanding crashed India’s hopes of probing moon’s unexplored south pole and Indian Space Research Organisation abandoned the mission eventually after failing to re-establish link with the rover

The camera on board of the orbiter however continued to send images and space agencies around the world joined in ISRO’s efforts to track the rover. Shanmuga Subramaniam, a Madurai based engineer and an avid enthusiast of space exploration, scanned the image released by NASA on Tuesday pixel by pixel and noted a white spot which he said was Vikram. He emailed to NASA and it acknowledged his finding.

Subramaniam said that NASA released several images since the abortive landing of VIkram and he had been following them on the internet. He found on the image released on Tuesday a white spot which he guessed could be Vikram.

Asked whether NASA had congratulated him, Subramaniam said “NASA has better things to do than congratulate me on this and I did to help ISRO redeem its image”. However Nasa has credited Subramanian with helping locate the site of the debris.