NASA helps India find Vikram Lander lunar crash site

Dec. 3 (UPI) — NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has helped India and its space agency locate the Vikram Lander and map the impact site.

This week, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera team released a mosaic image showcasing the lander, its impact point and the surrounding debris field. In the image, green dots represent likely pieces of the spacecraft, while the blue dots represent bits of regolith excised by the collision.

The large blue circle in the mosaic image marks the lander’s impact site, while the portion of the lunar surface denotes with an S represents the debris identified by Shanmuga Subramanian, the Chennai-based techie who helped NASA and the Indian Space Research Organization locate impact location.

“The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera team released the first mosaic of the site on Sept. 26 and many people have downloaded the mosaic to search for signs of Vikram,” NASA said in an update. “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.”

Followup surveys by LRO helped scientists identify additional pieces of rock and debris deposited on the lunar surface in the wake of the crash landing.

India’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle launched Chandrayaan-2 in July. In August, India attempted to become the fourth country to successfully put a lander on the moon when its probe released Vikram for a slow descent to the moon’s south pole. Unfortunately, ISRO lost contact with Vikram as it neared the surface.





Source link