Techie helps Nasa find Vikram lander

NASA released an image taken by its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter that showed the site where India's Vikram lander crashed on the lunar surface in September 2019

The university said that based on Subramanian's tip, the LROC team scoured the surrounding area in the new mosaics and found the impact site and the debris field. Among them was Shanmuga Subramanian who contacted the LRO project with positive identification of debris. Providing them with the coordinates of the crash site, Shanmuga Subramanian presented evidence of the ejecta that may have been thrown out of the lander. I searched for the path that the lander would have followed. Their second lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2, was only partly successful: While the orbiter has been mapping the Moon and continues to perform well, the Vikram lander (also equipped with a rover) suffered a malfunction in early September while descending to the surface.

NASA then performed additional searches in the area and officially announced the finding nearly two months later.

He emailed his findings to NASA, which got back to him a short while later confirming what he had found. ISRO had originally said the lander impacted 500 meters from its intended landing site, and the actual point was some 750 meters to the northwest.

The Vikram Moon lander was sent by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) aboard the Chandraayan-2 that orbited the Moon.

The lander was set to make India only the fourth country after the USA, the USSR, and China to softly land a manmade object on the Moon. "It was worth it", Subramanian said.

ISRO reportedly spotted the lander with their own orbiter but did not release those images to the public.

Chandrayaan-2's Vikram lander had attempted a soft landing on the moon on September 7, but lost communication with the ISRO minutes before touchdown.

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An animation released by NASA also shows a before and after comparison of the crash site, in which a faint streak of debris can be seen near the bottom third of the more recent photo.

Now, a British firm Spacebit - a London-based startup - plans to launch its robotic "crawler" to the moon by 2021, making it the first time the United Kingdom will get to the moon, if all goes to plan.

"I just located the debris of the lander".

A mechanical engineer from Chennai, Subramanian is quite actively engaged in developing cloud native applications and providing software quality assurances. According to NASA's release, Shanmuga Subramanian, a 33-year-old techie is the first person who has come up with the results.

The main crash site and impact crater is surrounded by a smattering of debris stretching hundreds of meters away.

Nasa, which has been closely following the mission, as also several worldwide agencies, collaborated in the Isro search for clues about the lander's whereabouts.

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