NASA has Found the Remnants of India’s Vikram Moon Lander

The remains of Vikram – green dots are spacecraft debris and blue ones are disturbed moon soil NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University

September 7 was not a good day for our neighbouring company and specifically their space agency ISRO. After placing the Chandrayaan-1 in the lunar orbit, the ISRO launched the Chandrayaan-2 mission, a probe that carried a lunar module called Vikram that, just over two kilometers above the surface, saw its altered trajectory and ended up crashing. It was lost and crashed, and it has not been until now that NASA has found Vikram.

In an image published by the well-known space agency you can see the impact zone , the rubble and the exact place where the Vikram module is located. NASA explains that the green dots are remnants of confirmed or probable spacecraft, the blue dots are the ground possibly altered by the impact of pieces of the ship and the “S” indicates the identified remains of the Hindu mission.

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NASA has attributed the discovery to Shanmuga Subramanian , a 33-year-old Hindu engineer The Vikram landing module was supposed to land on a plain about 600 kilometers from the south pole of the Moon, although it eventually crashed into the ground.

NASA, however, has recognized the work of ISRO, stating that “getting so close to the surface was an incredible achievement.” To find the remains of the module, NASA released a mosaic of images obtained on September 17 so that people can search for Vikram signals.

Shanmuga Subramanian contacted the LRO project with a positive identification of debris said a statement released on 2 December.

According to NASA, Shanmuga Subramanian “contacted the LRO (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter) project with a positive identification” which was subsequently confirmed by LRO comparing images before and after the accident. Since the changes in the lunar surface are negligible, it is enough to compare different images to detect changes in craters and / or surface elements.

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Although the first images were not well lit enough to show the point of impact well, a new batch of images obtained on October 14 and 15 and on November 11 with a better pixel scale and light conditions made it possible to distinguish it with greater precision. The exact impact site is 70.8810 ° S, 22.7840 ° E, 834 meters of elevation. In the image above the impact crater can be clearly seen, more or less in the central area.

As Shanmuga Subramanian tells the BBC , “we had NASA images of the last location of the landing module. We knew roughly where it crashed. So I searched pixel by pixel around that area of ​​impact.” NASA, meanwhile, says that “the debris first located by Shanmuga is about 750 meters northwest of the main accident site and was an identification of bright pixels in that first mosaic.” The location of the Vikram therefore ceases to be a secret.


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