New Delhi: NASA, the US Space Agency said its satellite orbiting the Moon has found Chandrayaan 2’s Vikram Lander on the lunar surface today. The Vikram Lander had lost contact moment before the scheduled attempt to soft land on the moon on September 7 this year.
NASA has also posted images taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) showing the site of impact and the associated debris field.
In a statement, NASA said the “debris first located by Shanmuga Shanmuga about 750 meters northwest of the main crash site and was a single bright pixel identification in that first mosaic.”
“Shanmuga Subramanian contacted the LRO project with a positive identification of debris. After receiving this tip, the LROC team confirmed the identification by comparing before and after images. When the images for the first mosaic were acquired the impact point was poorly illuminated and thus not easily identifiable. Two subsequent image sequences were acquired on Oct. 14 and 15, and Nov. 11. The LROC team scoured the surrounding area in these new mosaics and found the impact site and associated debris field,” the statement added.
The US Space Agency posted two images i.e., before and after the landing that clearly highlights the surface changes and impact points.
Earlier, ISRO had confirmed that they had lost all communications with the orbiter. Later, NASA said the Chandrayaan-2 lander had ‘hard landing’ and had released pictures of the targeted landing site.
Lunar lander Vikram, one of the components of the Chandrayaan 2 stopped transmitting about 2.1 km from the surface ahead of its soft landing on the south polar region of the moon in an historic 1,000-crore mission by ISRO.
Chandrayaan 2 was launched on July 22 from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, on the back of a GSLV Mark III rocket – ISRO’s largest and most powerful.