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Our own orbiter located Vikram Lander in September: ISRO chief Sivan

On Tuesday, NASA said its satellite orbiting the Moon has found debris of Vikram lander, which crashed just 2.1 kilometres away from the lunar surface in September.

4th December 2019 | 12:27 PM (IST)
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A day after Nasa announced it had located the debris of Chandrayaan-2 lander, Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) chief K Sivan said the Indian space agency had already located it earlier.

“Our own orbiter had located Vikram Lander, we had already declared that on our website, you can go back and see,” Sivan was quoted as saying by news agency.

Isro’s website has an entry dated September 10 that reads: “Vikram lander has been located by the orbiter of Chandrayaan-2, but no communication with it yet. All possible efforts are being made to establish communication with lander.”

Isro, however, hadn’t made the images public.

US space agency Nasa had Tuesday said that it had located the lander Vikram of India’s second moon mission Chandrayaan-2, around three months after Isro lost contact with it.

Nasa released an image acquired by its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) on November 11, marking pieces of debris close to the proposed landing site of the Chandrayaan-2 lander.

Nasa said it was able to locate the debris after a tip-off by Shanmuga Subramanian, a 33-year-old mechanical engineer and app developer from Chennai.

Nasa’s LROC had captured imaged of the landing site during a fly-by. The space agency said it couldn’t locate the lander based on the image due to the large shadows that covered the area.

The images were uploaded on September 26 and Subramanian was the first person to achieve a positive identification of the Chandrayaan-2 lander. The first debris spotted by the Indian engineer was located 750 metres northwest of the impact site.

Subramanian spent many a sleepless nights over the next 45-odd days trying to locate the debris.

“I used to return from work at 8 pm. After dinner, I would start comparing the NASA images till 2 am. I would again scan the photos till 8 am,” he said.

Early on October, Subramanian located a tiny spot which he believed was part of the Vikram lander’s debris. He tweeted about it and informed Isro and Nasa. On Tuesday, Nasa tweeted confirming that Subramanian was spot on.

 

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4th December 2019 | 12:27 PM (IST)
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