NASA finds Chandrayaan 2 Vikram lander on Moon, releases images of debris

A publicly-released image has identified the lander's impact site and debris field.    

The American space agency’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter flew over the landing site of the Chandrayaan 2 Vikram lander near the moon’s the South Pole. During the course of this pass, the Orbiter caught an image of the impact site. The debris has been found nearby from the Vikram lander’s crash-landing and this is for the first time that a publicly-released image has identified the lander’s impact site and debris field.

NASA in a statement said that it released a mosaic image of the site on September 26 inviting the public to compare it with images of the same area before the crash to find signs of the lander.

“Green dots indicate spacecraft debris. Blue dots locate disturbed soil, likely where small bits of the spacecraft churned up the regolith,” the space agency said.

NASA finds Chandrayaan 2 Vikram lander on Moon, releases images of debris
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Shanmuga “Shan” Subramanian, a 33-year-old IT professional from Chennai was the first person to come up with positive identification who told AFP that NASA’s inability to find the lander on its own had sparked his interest.

“NASA has to be 100 percent sure before they can go public, and that’s the reason they waited to confirm it, and even I would have done the same,” said Subramanian.

However, the main spacecraft, which remains in orbit around the Moon, dropped the unmanned lander Vikram for descent but the probe went silent just 2.1 kilometers above the surface. The Indian Space Research Organisation after the failed landing said it had located the lander but are not able to establish communication with the lander.


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