Shanmuga Subramanian, Indian Techie Who Found Vikram Lander Speaks To India Today

Wednesday, 04 Dec, 2019

If the landing had been successful, the Chandrayaan-2 mission and its Vikram Lander would have placed India amongst the United States, the former Soviet Union, and China, as a nation capable of a soft moon landing.

Shanmuga Subramanian, the eagle-eyed citizen space scientist who found Vikram Moon lander said on Tuesday that he took spotting it as a challenge when NASA couldn't.

Within the debris field, the LROC team has categorised about two-dozen fragments as either "confirmed or likely" pieces of the Vikram lander. "I got a good response from them". The Lander had been in contact until 2 km from surface of the moon, ISRO had said in a post on its website.

Subramaniam shared an email message he received early Tuesday from a NASA scientist congratulating him on his discovery. The release spurred people to search the mosaic for any hints of Vikram, which was eventually first identified by Shanmuga Subramanian. However, ISRO lost contact with their lander shortly before the scheduled touchdown on September 7.

In a written response to questions November 20 to the Lok Sabha, the lower house of India's Parliament, Jitendra Singh, minister of state for the Department of Space, said that the Vikram lander "hard landed" on the moon half a kilometer from its projected landing site because of a problem with the lander's braking thrusters. "Why aren't the headlines reading 'Indian engineer discovers Vikram Lander debris".

Notably, Subramanian told AFP, "I had a side-by-side comparison of those two images on two of my laptops. on one side there was the old image, and another side there was the new image released by NASA", adding that he was helped by fellow Twitter and Reddit users. "It's quite big but it is a little sad at the same time because we all expected Vikram to land on the surface", Subramanian told the television channel.

The images confirm what had always been expected: that Vikram crashed while attempting to land.

"He went through the image, looking pixel by pixel and found that spot", Petro added. He says that even ISRO should do the same.

Earlier this week, Jitendra Singh, the minister of state for the department of atomic energy and department of space said that the Chandrayaan 2's Vikram lander's braking thrusters failed and had a hard landing around 500 metres from the designation landing site.

But two image sequences were acquired on October 14 and 15, and on November 11 were better.

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

The lander crashed close to the expected site of landing - the impact site's coordinates are 70.8810°S, 22.7840°E, while the expected landing coordinates were 70.9°S, 22.7°E.