NASA releases image of Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram lander debris
NASA has released an image of India’s Chandrayaan-2 Vikram lander’s debris that crashed on the lunar surface on September 7. The image was taken by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) camera released on December 3.
NASA has earlier released a mosaic image of the site on September 26 and Indian techie Shanmuga Subramanian decoded the image to find the debris.
NASA took some time to confirm Subramanian’s findings and tweeted on Monday, “The #Chandrayaan2 Vikram lander has been found by our @NASAMoon mission, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.”
US Space Agency also released a statement saying, “Green dots indicate spacecraft debris (confirmed or likely). Blue dots locate disturbed soil, likely were small bits of the spacecraft churned up the regolith. ‘S’ indicates debris identified by Shanmuga Subramanian.”
Shanmuga, originally from Madurai is an ex-employee of Cognizant as a programme analyst, used lunar images from NASA’s Moon’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) captured in September, October and November and studied them for weeks to locate the debris.
NASA’s deputy project scientist (LRO mission) John Keller wrote to him, “Thank you for your email informing us of your discovery of debris from the Vikram lander. The LROC team confirmed that the location does exhibit changes in images taken before and after the date of the landing. Using the 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 and has announced the sighting on the NASA and SAU pages where you have been credit for your observation.”