"I Found Vikram Lander!": Know Chennai Engineer, 33, Who Alerted NASA

"I Found Vikram Lander!": Know Chennai Engineer, 33, Who Alerted NASA

Chandrayaan-2: Shanmuga Subramanian spotted the debris of the lander Vikram and alerted NASA.

New Delhi: NASA credited a Chennai-based engineer for alerting them about the presence of the debris of the lander of Chandrayaan 2, India's ambitious moon mission. Shanmuga Subramanian, 33, found the debris from the Vikram moon lander that scientists had been looking for and helped guide them to the spot where it had crashed.

 Chennai-based engineer tweeted mail screenshot on twitter.


The US space agency made the announcement today, releasing an image taken 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).

Read Also: NASA Says It Has Found Chandrayaan 2'S Vikram Lander On Moon, Tweets Pics

NASA said in a statement, "The debris first located by Shanmuga is about 750 meters northwest of the main crash site and was a single bright pixel identification in that first mosaic." 

The lander had lost contact shortly before the scheduled attempt to soft-land on the moon on September 7. Days after the failed landing, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said it had located the lander, but hadn't been able to establish communication.

He space enthusiast said, "I worked hard tracking the intended path of Vikram lander," Mr Subramanian told news channel NDTV.

"I am excited. It was lots of hard work. I've always had a passion for space science. I would never miss a launch."

In a statement, NASA said it released a mosaic image of the site on September 26 (but taken on September 17), inviting the public to compare it with images of the same area before the crash to find signs of the lander.

Mr Subramaniam was first person to come up with a positive identification. He said NASA's inability to find the lander on its own had sparked his interest.

"I had side-by-side comparison of those two images on two of my laptops... on one side there was the old image, and another side there was the new image released by NASA," he told news agency AFP, adding he was helped by fellow Twitter and Reddit users.

"It was quite hard, but (I) spent some effort," said the self-professed space nerd, finally announcing his discovery on Twitter on October 3.

NASA then performed additional searches in the area and officially announced the finding almost two months later.
 

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