'Worked really hard,' says 33-year-old Chennai engineer who helped NASA

03 Décembre, 2019, 21:25 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • 'Worked really hard,' says 33-year-old Chennai engineer who helped NASA

India's space agency said it spotted the lander soon after, via the orbiter component of the mission, but the agency has not released those images, and NASA's long-standing Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter hadn't had the same luck. "LRO flew over the area on September 17 and NASA released the images through a blog on September 29", he said. "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". Providing them with the coordinates of the crash site, Shanmuga Subramanian presented evidence of the ejecta that may have been thrown out of the lander. And it was this clinching evidence, which even the premier space agency overlooked, that helped NASA announce on Tuesday that the Vikram lander had been found.

He sent NASA an email in October with his findings.

Following news of Shanmuga's achievement, industrialist Anand Mahindra took to Twitter to praise his efforts and intellectual capabilities.

Earlier this year, Israel's uncrewed Beresheet spacecraft also crashed during a Moon landing attempt.

The U.S. agency released images showing an impact site and debris from the Vikram lander, which disappeared with a rover minutes before a scheduled touchdown that would've made India just the fourth nation to pull off a soft landing on the moon.

In its images, the three largest pieces of debris are each about 2×2 pixels and cast a shadow of size one pixel.

Shanmuga Subramanian (Shan) is a mechanical engineer and a computer programmer who works as a technical architect at engineering company Lennox India Technology Centre in Chennai.

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"Shanmuga Subramanian contacted the LRO project with a positive identification of debris", said NASA in the statement.

The impact point shows up in this processed image as a group of dark rays with brighter material around it.

Vikram lander's ejecta as seen by LRO's camera. "Despite the loss, getting that close to the surface was an incredible achievement", said the space agency.

Despite this setback the Indian Space Research Organization continues to plan for more missions, including Chandrayaan-3, a follow-up to 2 that also has a lander and rover.

A version of the picture was marked up to show the associated debris field, with parts scattered over nearly two dozen locations spanning several kilometers. It was in image sequences acquired on October 14 and 15, and November 11 that the impact site could more easily be identified.

Chandrayaan-2 was due to touch down at the lunar South Pole on 7 September, over a month after it first took off.

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