Two months after ISRO abruptly lost contact with Chandrayaan 2 Vikram Lander, a NASA satellite has finally found the vehicle’s debris — the space agency confirmed in a public post.
In a tweet, the US space agency credited its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter for locating the lander. NASA has also released images pinpointing the exact location of the lander crash site.
— NASA (@NASA) December 2, 2019
Interestingly, NASA credited an Indian engineer from Chennai, Shanmuga Subramanian, for locating the debris, which was about “about 750 meters northwest of the main crash site.”
— Shan (@Ramanean) December 2, 2019
How Subramanian found Vikram Lander?
The first question that comes to our mind is how the mechanical engineer was able to find the Vikram Moon lander debris.
Back in September, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) camera team released a mosaic of the site where the lander could have possibly crashed.
The US space agency says the image was downloaded by a number of people to search for the lost lander. A few days later, Subramanian contacted the LRO team “with positive identification of debris.” The team was later able to identify the crash site.
What happened to Chandrayaan 2 Vikram Lander?
Vikram Lander lost contact with ISRO just before attempting a self landing on the moon.
According to the Indian Space Research Organisation, the reduction velocity of the Vikram rover was “more than the designed parameters” due to which Vikram’s breaking thrusters malfunctioned.
Chandrayaan 2 was India’s second lunar mission since the first one back in 2008. If Vikram had landed successfully, India would have become the fourth in the world to make a soft landing on Moon.