NASA finds Chandrayaan-2's Vikram Lander on Moon, releases images of site

NASA and Chandrayaan-2: India was hoping to become the fourth such country after the US, China, and Russia to make a successful landing on the south pole of the moon.

Created On: Dec 3, 2019 08:54 IST
Image: NASA
Image: NASA

NASA finds Chandrayaan-2's Vikram lander on Moon: The US space agency NASA has recently found Vikram lander on the surface of Moon. A satellite, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, (LRO) from the US space agency released an image of the impact site where Vikram was crashed in September 2019.

The area with debris belonging to the vehicle is visible in the image. It is visible in the image that debris scattered at more than a dozen places for several kilometers. According to NASA, Indian engineer Shanmuga Subramanian gave evidence related to the wreck to the agency.

NASA released Vikram’s Image

The debris of Vikram Lander is outlined with green dots in the picture. At the same time, the blue dots show the difference in the moon's surface after the crash. The letter 'S' shows the debris of the lander identified by scientist Shanmuga Subramanian.

Also Read | Chandrayaan-3: ISRO’s another bid to land on Moon

Key Points

• NASA said in a statement that it had released a mosaic image of the site on September 26 and invited people to search for signs of the lander.
• After that, a person named Shanmuga Subramanian approached the LRO project with positive identification of the wreck.
• The debris, located approximately 750 meters northwest of the main crash site was identified by  Shanmuga Subramanian. 
• He previously had discovered the mosaic (1.3 m pixels, 84 ° incidence angle) in November.

How Shanmuga detected debris?

As per the reports, Shanmuga Subramanian reviewed Vikram Lander's last known velocity and position; he changed the location of debris as per the previous images are shown. A white dot appeared just a short distance from where Chandrayaan-2's hard landing was being anticipated. He said that in some earlier photographs this point was not clear. It is quite possible that the Lander may have penetrated the surface of the moon.


Earlier, Indian Space Research Organization chief K Sivan said on September 9 that ISRO had found photographs of Vikram Lander on the moon. After 47 days of travel, on September 07, when Chandramayan-2's Vikram lander was just 2.1 km away from the lunar surface, his contact with ISRO was lost. Then it was announced that Vikram had hard landing on the lunar surface.

What is Hard-Landing?

The landing of a spacecraft on the moon takes place in two ways - soft landing and hard landing. When the speed of the spacecraft is gradually lowered to the lunar surface it is called a soft landing while in a hard landing the spacecraft crashes on the lunar surface. Soft Landing means that a satellite is landing on the surface and started working normally.

What was the objective of Chandrayaan-2?

It took 11 years to send Chandrayaan-2 on the Moon. Vikram Lander was primarily to analyze the rocks and craters on the lunar surface. The main objective of ISRO was to find out water on the lunar surface with the help of Pragyan Rover. India would have become the first country in the world whose spacecraft would have landed close to the south pole of the moon if Vikram Lander had a soft landing. India could also become the fourth country in the world to land on the moon after the USA, Russia, and China.

Also Read | Chandrayaan-2’s orbiter CLASS detects charged particles on Moon

Also Read | ISRO Chandrayaan-2 Setback will give a new hope: PM Modi to ISRO scientists

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