NASA finds Vikram Lander of Chandrayaan-2 on Moon Surface


Shanmuga Subramanian (Shan) is a mechanical engineer and a computer programmer who works as a technical architect at engineering company Lennox India Technology Centre in Chennai.

India's first lunar mission, Chandrayaan-1 orbited the moon in 2008 but did not land. The LROC team scoured the surrounding area in these new mosaics and found the impact point about 2,500 feet to the southeast of the planned touchdown site, and a spray of debris emanating outward.

In a written response to questions November 20 to the Lok Sabha, the lower house of India's Parliament, Jitendra Singh, minister of state for the Department of Space, said that the Vikram lander "hard landed" on the moon half a kilometer from its projected landing site because of a problem with the lander's braking thrusters.

Subramaniam shared an email message he received early Tuesday from a NASA scientist congratulating him on his discovery. But initial analyses of the images did not reveal an obvious impact scar comparable to the Beresheet lander launched by Israel this year, which crashed in April.

Spotting the debris in the mosaic of images taken of the lunar surface was a hard and time consuming job as it was only one or two pixels wide.

"The debris first located by Shanmuga is about 750 meters northwest of the main crash site", ASU said.

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The $140 million mission's lander failed in its attempt to reach the surface of the moon just 1.3 miles from the ground. "This might be Vikram lander's crash site (Lat:-70.8552 Lon:21.71233 ) and the ejecta that was thrown out of it might have landed over here ..." The Indian space agency ISRO has remained tight-lipped about the lander's fate since losing contact, failing to even confirm that it had crashed. Many people downloaded the mosaic to search for signs of Vikram. The hope was that the instrumentation they carried would have confirmed that the moon had water. The crash was apparently due to a problem with its braking thrusters, although the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft that released it is still operational and orbiting the moon, collecting data.

"I feel very happy that I could find the debris".

"It is like a new space race and there is a race to the Moon, and a race to other planets".

Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry on Tuesday called on worldwide organisations to take notice of India's irresponsible space missions.

India launched its Chandrayaan 2 mission on June 22 this year. It is comprised of three modules, an Orbiter, a Lander called Vikram, and a Rover called Pragyan. The lander's impact site looks like a dark shadow on the pocked lunar surface; NASA has generated an animation showing the before and after images to help the public understand what they're seeing.