NASA Finds India’s Lunar Lander Leftovers on the Moon

​Not long ago, NASA reported that it found India’s lunar lander, which was supposed to attempt a smooth landing on Earth’s natural satellite. The news that Chandrayaan-2 Vikram​, the Indian installment sent to the Moon, has disintegrated, left Indian space fans with a bitter taste.

The American space agency announced on Tuesday that it had found the debris left by the lander, which collided with the Moon’s surface back in September. On top of the announcement, NASA released an image depicting the site on which the installment crashed, and the debris scope. An Indian engineer was credited for helping the space agency locate the crash site.

The Indian engineer, Shanmuga Subramanian​, said that he analyzed a previous image provided by NASA, in order to locate the lander, or what it was left of it. The American space agency then announced in the released statement that Subramanian​ first found the leftovers approximately half a mile (750 meters) northwest of the main site.

“It took days of work to find the crash site,” Shanmugham said. “I searched around the north of the landing spot and found a small little dot. When I compared it to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter images of the site from the last nine years, I located the debris and reached out to NASA.”

​An Amazing Achievement

NASA confirmed the finding sent by Subramanian​ after it performed a thorough comparison of the before and after images. The agency applauded India’s attempt, saying that in spite of the loss, managing to get that close to the Moon’s surface was an incredible achievement.

Subramanian​ first found the leftovers approximately half a mile (750 meters) northwest of the main site. [Image: NASA]
India Space Research Organization (ISRO),​ the agency behind the rover’s controls, lost connection with the vehicle after it crash-landed on the lunar surface during its final attempt to touch the Moon’s south pole. It has tried to deploy the rover, which was scheduled to search for signs of water.

If this had had been a successful landing, India would have been the fourth country to send a rover to the Moon, and the third to have a robotic instrument out there.

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