ISRO chairman reacts after NASA said they found remains of India’s Vikram Lander

Just a day after American space agency NASA spotted the remains of Chandrayaan-2’s crashed Vikram lander, ISRO chairman Dr K Sivan added that Indian space agency’s own orbiter had already located the lander and also declared it on its website.

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

A NASA satellite which was orbiting the Moon has discovered India’s Vikram lander which crashed on the lunar surface in September, the US space agency has said. The American space agency released a picture snapped by its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) that showed the site of the spacecraft’s impact (September 6 in India and September 7 in the US) and connected debris field, with parts shattered over in several kilometres.

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It is worth mentioning here that an Indian man was the one behind solving the biggest mystery in India space history. National Aeronautics Space Agency (NASA) has showered praise on Chennai-based techie and space science enthusiast Shanmuga Subramanian for an important tip-off that led to the discovery of ISRO’s moon lander Vikram, which rammed into the lunar surface on the far side of the south pole during the final stages of a complex manoeuvre in September this year.

In a post mentioned on its website early on Tuesday, the American space agency has said its moon mission discovered the debris of India’s Vikram Lander and discovered the remains spotted by Subramanian with an “S” on its image.

The Chennai-based technologist identified debris about 750 m from the main crash site of the lander, notified NASA, which said pictures made public by the space agency was searched by enthusiasts in search of the spacecraft.

“Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera team released the first mosaic (acquired Sept. 17) of the site on Sept. 26 and many people have downloaded the mosaic to search for signs of Vikram. Shanmuga Subramanian contacted the LRO project with positive identification of debris. After receiving this tip, the LROC team confirmed the identification by comparing before and after images.”

Meanwhile, a statement on ISRO’s website on September 10 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.”

The space agency’s chairman had previously called Chandrayaan-2 the “most tough mission ever” undertaken by the Indian space agency.

India had hoped to become just the fourth nation after the likes of the United States, Russia and regional rival China to make a successful Moon landing and the first on the lunar south pole. Just days after the failed landing, the Indian Space Research Organisation said it had located the lander but was unable to establish communication.