In September India lost contact with its Vikram lander just a mile above the Moon's surface, and now NASA has confirmed photos taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter show where it impacted. The actual discovery, however, has been credited to an amateur, Shanmuga Subramanian. As the New York Times reported, he is an Indian programmer and mechanical engineer who
back in October.
@NASA @LRO_NASA @isro— Shan (@Ramanean) November 17, 2019
This might be Vikram lander's crash site (Lat:-70.8552 Lon:21.71233 ) & the ejecta that was thrown out of it might have landed over here https://t.co/8uKZv7oXQa (The one on the left side was taken on July 16th & one on the right side was from Sept 17) pic.twitter.com/WNKOUy2mg1
The debris kicked up by the impact was small enough that it's barely recognizable in the orbiter's resolution. According to NASA, the debris Shanmuga found is about 750m from the main crash site. Last week the ISRO said Vikram crashed within 500m of its intended landing point, but didn't release any pictures. The crash was apparently due to a problem with its braking thrusters, although the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft that released it is still operational and orbiting the moon, collecting data.
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