Science

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter clicks pictures of exact location where India’s Vikram Lander crashed

Washington: The National  Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) said they found India’s Vikram Lander which was lost during a soft landing attempt during Chandrayaan-2 mission. The US space agency also released pictures of the impact site of Vikram Lander.

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) camera took images of the lunar surface where the crash took place. The before and after images of the crash site which show changes on the Moon. The images also show the impact spot of Vikram and the debris field created by the impact.

A NASA statement said, “The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera team released the first mosaic (acquired on September 17) of the site on September 26 and many people have downloaded the mosaic to search for signs of Vikram. 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 October 14 and 15, and on November 11. The LROC team scoured the surrounding area in these new mosaics and found the impact site and associated debris field,” the statement continued.

The statement added, “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.”

NASA has not given the identity of Shanmuga Subramanian who seems to be the first to have discovered the debris and contacted the LRO project.

The space agency said that getting so close to the Moon’s surface itself was a great achievement. There will be another attempt to take more images in October by LRO when lighting is more favourable.

Vikram Lander was part of the Chandrayaan-2 mission, which was to soft land on the lunar surface on the far side of the Moon. It was a risky mission as no country in the world had attempted to land on far side of the Moon.

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