Chennai's technician uses images from NASA to find debris from the Vikram landing module and obtains credit from the US agency

NEW DELHI: After almost three months of Vikram's frantic search for space scientists and space agencies from around the world, it was a Chennai technician who discovered debris from the Vikram landing module of Chandrayaan-2 at the south pole of the Moon using the US space agency. UU. Pot images

Shanmuga Subramanian (Shan), a mechanical engineer and a computer programmer working as a technical architect at the Lennox India Technology Center engineering company in Chennai, made India's largest space discovery of the landing module, which made a forced landing on the surface of the Moon during a landing attempt on September 7, 2019.

Shanmuga, who hails from Madurai and had earlier worked for Cognizant as a programme analyst, used lunar images from Pot 's Moon's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) captured on different dates (September 17, October 14, 15 and November 11) and studied them for weeks to locate the debris of the lander.

After making the discovery, Shanmuga wrote to Pot informing it about his findings for which the US space agency took some time to confirm it. Authenticating his discovery finally, Pot 's deputy project scientist (LRO mission) John Keller wrote to him, "Thank you for your email informing us of your discovery of debris from the Vikram lander. The LROC team confirmed that the location does exhibit changes in images taken before and after the date of the landing. Using the information, the LROC team did additional searches in this area and located the site of the primary impact as well as other debris around the impact location and has announced the sighting on the Pot and ASU pages where you have been given credit for your observation."

Wishing Shanmuga for his hard work, Keller also wrote: Congratulations on what I am sure was a lot of time and effort on your part. We apologize for the delay in responding, as we also needed to be sure of our interpretation. how to make sure that all interested parties had the opportunity to comment before we can announce the results.

Later, confirming news to the world, Pot tweeted: "The Vikram lander has been found by our Pot Moon mission, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. See the first mosaic of the impact site." An image of Moon with blue and green dots show the impact point of Vikram and an associated debris field.



"Green dots indicate spacecraft debris. Blue dots locate disturbed soil, likely where small bits of the spacecraft churned up the regolith (moon soil). "S" indicates debris identified by Shanmuga Subramanian," the Pot statement read. The debris, first located by Shanmuga, is about 750 metre northwest of the crash site.

(Isro) and Pot have been looking for the Vikram lander since September 7. In fact, Pot had used its deep space network antennas in California, Madrid and Canberra to send signals to the Vikram lander with the hope that it would reflect the signals if the lander's systems were working but all the US space agency's efforts went in vain. Finally, it used its orbiter LRO, circling around the Moon, to take images of the south pole region to locate the lander. , too, has been using , circling Moon at 100km altitude, to scan the landing zone to look for the lander.

Recently, in a written response to a question in Lok Sabha, the Union minister for the space department Jitendra Singh explained the reason for the. He said: During the second phase of descent (of the landing module), the reduction in speed was greater than the designed value. Due to this deviation, the initial conditions at the beginning of the fine braking phase were beyond the designed parameters. As a result, Vikram landed 500 meters from the designated landing site.

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