The Chandrayaan 2’s Vikram lander was a target to land on Moon’s highland smooth plain, about 600 kilometers from its the South Pole
New Delhi: After three months India lost contact with Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram lander while attempting a soft landing on the Moon’s South Polar region, a NASA satellite orbiting the Moon has found the crashed lander, the US space agency has confirmed.
NASA has released an image taken by it’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) that showed the exact site of the spacecraft’s impact on September 6 in India and September 7 in the US and found debris field, with parts scattered over almost two dozen locations away from its landing location.
NASA said it released a mosaic image of the site on September 26, inviting the public to search it for signs of the lander.
NASA even added that a person named Shanmuga Subramanian contacted the LRO project with correct identification of debris with the first piece found about 750 meters northwest of the main crash site.
“Despite losing, get close to the surface was an amazing achievement,” Nasa said by describing the new images of the Vikram impact site
Approximately $140 million mission, called as Chandrayaan-2, was intended to study permanently shadowed moon craters that are thought to contain water deposits that were confirmed by the Chandrayaan-1 mission in 2008.
Earlier, the space agency’s chairman, K Sivan, called Chandrayaan-2 the “most complex mission ever” undertaken by the space agency.
On July 22 the mission began its start, from the Satish Dhawan space center, in Sriharikota, an island off the coast of the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. After its launch on July 22, Chandrayaan-2 spent several weeks to reach the way to the moon, finally entered lunar orbit on August 20.
On September 2, Vikram separated from the mission’s orbiter, and the lander began a series of braking maneuvers to lower its orbit and ready itself for landing.
The main spacecraft remained in orbit around the Moon, dropped the unmanned lander Vikram for a descent that would take five days, but the probe went silent just 2.1 kilometers above the surface.
After the United States, Russia, and regional rival China to make a successful Moon landing India had hoped to become just the fourth country and the first on the lunar south pole. But failed in landing, the Indian Space Research Organisation said it had located the lander but hadn’t been able to communicate.