NASA has finally found the debris of lander Vikram with the help of an Indian engineer. The American space agency released an image on December 3 which shows the precise spot on the Moon’s surface. The lander deployed in India’s Chandrayaan-2 mission had a rough landing on the lunar surface in early September.
Vikram is finally found
India would have become the fourth nation to land on the Moon if Vikram had reached its destination safe and flawless. A few kilometers away from the surface, the lander saw a software glitch in its system forcing the lander to hit the lunar surface hard.
NASA had lent their hand to spot the lander which went missing approximately 500 meters of the intended landing site. But after sever attempts it had said that they were unable to recognize the Vikram lander because of the long shadows in the region during dusk.
However, US space agency Nasa announced on Monday it had found the Chandrayaan-2 moon lander Vikram not far from where it was supposed to land, based on a suggestion from an Indian engineer and blogger.
Indian Techie behind the investigation
Shanmuga Subramanian is a 33-year-old app developer, a mechanical engineer working at an IT architect with an IT firm in Chennai. Hailing from Madurai, Shanmuga said he had separately launched his search as a “challenge” as even Nasa had seemed clueless at the time.
“It was something challenging as even Nasa can’t find out so why can’t we try out? And, that’s the thought that led me to search for the Vikram lander. I don’t think Vikram lander would have made such an impact on the minds of the Indian public if it had landed successfully. Since it was lost, there were a lot of discussions in public forums as well as on my Facebook regarding what malfunctioned, etc,” he said.
— NDTV (@ndtv) December 3, 2019
The region marked “S” is the debris found by Shanmuga Subramanian
The LROC team that was investigating the lost lander, had confirmed that the location does show changes in images taken before and after the date of the landing. LROC is a system of three cameras positioned on the orbiter that captures high-resolution black-and-white images of the lunar surface. The team observed around the area pointed out by Subramanian and located the site of the initial impact as well as other debris around the collision location.
India is full of talent. We should nourish our talent & allocate sufficient fund for science projects in schools/Collg
Its Shanmuga Subramanian, Chennai engineer, who alerted NASA about #VikramLander.
— Dharmendra Chhonkar (@yoursdharm) December 3, 2019