Indian Techie Finds Chanrayaan-2 Vikram Lander; Is It Still Useful?


Chandrayaan-2 was one of the most ambitious space missions by ISRO. However, the Vikram lander crashed just 500m away from the landing site and frantic search missions have been sent out. NASA joined in with its LRO to help find the lander. Now, months later, an Indian techie from Chennai has found the Vikram lander's crash location.

Indian Techie Finds Chanrayaan-2 Vikram Lander


Chanrayaan-2 Vikram Lander Found By Indian Techie

The premier space agencies from India and the US have been unraveling the mystery of the Vikram lander for over two months now. Finally, an Indian techie has given us some answers. NASA has credited Shanmuga Subramanian, a Chennai-based computer programmer and mechanical engineer, in helping find the crash site.

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) earlier released the first batch of images of the Vikram lander on September 26, when it conducted its first flyby. At that time, many people began searching for the lander based on these pictures, including Shanmuga. It's been revealed that his eye for detail has helped NASA confirm the Vikram lander debris location after comparing some before and after images.

In his spare time, Shanmuga began searching for the Vikram lander. Here, he spotted white specks, which he assumed were the debris of the Vikram lander. He found these white spots around the proposed landing site, which were not visible in the earlier images. He tweeted his findings and tagged both ISRO and NASA.


Chanrayaan-2 Vikram Lander Found; NASA Confirms

Now, NASA has confirmed that it is indeed the lander that was spotted. The agency has also credited Shanmuga for helping find the lander debris. "Using this information the LROC team did additional searches in this area and located the site of the primary impact as well as other debris around the impact location," NASA said to the engineer.

NASA has also released pictures of the debris location. The space agency said that the location spotted by Shanmuga is about 750m northwest of the main crash site. It could be spotted by a "single bright pixel identification in that first mosaic." It shows the impact crater, ray, and the extensive debris field. "The three largest pieces of debris are each about 2x2 pixels and cast a one-pixel shadow," NASA said.

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