‘Only NASA responded’: Chennai techie who spotted Vikram debris
New Delhi, Dec 03: Shanmuga Subramanian, Indian techie credited for finding Vikram Lander said he had alerted both the US space agency and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) about the presence of the debris of the lander of Chandrayaan 2.
"I did send a tweet to NASA and ISRO. I sent emails to a couple of NASA scientists. They were in charge of the LRO (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter) images. I got a good response from them," Subramanian told NDTV.
"The debris first located by Shanmuga is about 750 metres northwest of the main crash site and was a single bright pixel identification in that first mosaic," NASA said.
"Is this Vikram lander? (1 km from the landing spot) Lander might have been buried in Lunar sand?," Subramanian had tagged the twitter handles of NASA, LRO and ISRO in a tweet on October 3.
Further, he zeroed in on his observations and tweeted out the possible crash site of the lander.
"This might be Vikram lander's crash site (Lat:-70.8552 Lon:21.71233 ) and the ejecta that was thrown out of it might have landed over here ... (The one on the left side was taken on July 16th and one on the right side was from Sept 17)," Subramanian said in a tweet along with the images.
@NASA @LRO_NASA @isro— Shan (@Ramanean) November 17, 2019
This might be Vikram lander's crash site (Lat:-70.8552 Lon:21.71233 ) & the ejecta that was thrown out of it might have landed over here https://t.co/8uKZv7oXQa (The one on the left side was taken on July 16th & one on the right side was from Sept 17) pic.twitter.com/WNKOUy2mg1
Thank you for your email informing us of your discovery of debris from the Vikram lander, NASA thanked Subramanian.
"Using this information, the LROC team did additional searches in the 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 NASA and ASU pages where you have been given credit for your observation," Keller said.
Soon after the announcement, Subramanian also changed his Twitter bio.
"A Mechanical Engineer, Blogger, App Developer, QA Engineer & I found Vikram Lander", read his Twitter bio.
Several attempts have been made to discover Vikram lander after the ISRO lost touch with the lander shortly before its scheduled landing on September 7.
Chandrayaan-2, a follow-on mission to the Chandrayaan-1 mission undertaken more than a decade ago, was one of the country's attempts to conquer the moon.
A successful soft-landing on the moon's surface would have made India only the fourth country to achieve the feat after the United States, Russia and China.