NASA finds India′s crashed moon lander | News | DW | 03.12.2019
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NASA finds India's crashed moon lander

Months after India's Vikram crashed on the moon, NASA said it has located debris from the lunar lander. The US space agency had help, though, from an amateur space enthusiast from India.

NASA announced on Tuesday that it found debris from India's "Vikram" lander, which shattered on the surface of the moon in September.

They released images of the crash site, marking the locations of suspected debris and the impact area.

They also credited Shanmuga "Shan" Subramanian, a 33-year-old engineer from India, with helping to locate the site.

"Shanmuga Subramanian contacted the [Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter] project with a positive identification of debris. After receiving this tip, the LROC team confirmed the identification by comparing before and after images," NASA said in a statement.

Read more: Seven things driving India to the moon, Mars and beyond

'It took days to find the crash site'

Subramanian said he began searching for the debris after NASA released a mosaic image of the area in late September, inviting the public to find signs of the lander.

"It took days to find the crash site," the self-professed space enthusiast said.

"I searched around the north of the landing spot and found a small little dot. When I compared it to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter images of the site from the last nine years, I located the debris and reached out to NASA," he added.

Watch video 02:17

India’s lunar ambitions dashed by communication loss

The lunar lander was part of India's unmanned Chandrayaan-2 mission and was intended to search for signs of water on the moon.

India's space agency lost touch with the lander during its final approach to the south pole of the moon on September 7. The main spacecraft, however, remains in orbit.

A successful landing would have made India the fourth country to successfully land a vessel on the surface of the moon and only the third country to operate a robot there.

"Despite the loss, getting that close to the surface was an amazing achievement," NASA noted.

rs/rt (AP, dpa, AFP)

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