NASA satellite finds crashed Indian Moon lander Vikram

Chandrayaan 2 Vikram landers impact site extensive debris field found in images taken by NASAs lunar orbiter

The Vikram lander was targeted for a highland smooth plain about 600 kilometres from the south pole of the moon.

The US space agency, NASA, said it has found the debris of India's moon lander that crash-landed on the lunar surface in September. In the released images, blue and green dots show the impact point of Vikram and an associated debris field. "Green dots indicate spacecraft debris".

According to NASA, 'despite the loss, getting that close to the surface was an fantastic achievement.' A statement from the United States space agency said, "The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera team released the first mosaic (acquired September 17) of the site on September 26 and many people have downloaded the mosaic to search for signs of Vikram".

Today (Dec. 2), the team that runs the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) instrument released images taken on November 11 that show how the spacecraft has changed the surface of the moon. Subramanian supposedly contacted the LRO project team after positively identifying the debris.

Two and a half months after the agency lost contact, the ISRO finally admitted the lander crashed - a week before NASA discovered the lander's crash site. This was the first piece of the lander's debris discovered, roughly 750 meters northwest of the main impact site. The images also showed the associated debris field. The LROC team confirmed the identification by comparing before and after images.

That tipoff, plus images with better lighting and resolution taken in mid-October and on November 11, gave LROC specialists the details they needed to map the full scope of the surface changes caused by the hard landing.

An image combining before and after photographs of the Vikram impact site highlights the dark inner and light outer materials splaying out from the impact. "The November mosaic had the best pixel scale (0.7 meter) and lighting conditions (72° incidence angle)", NASA said in a statement. Changes to the surface are subtle and are more easily seen in these images than earlier ones.



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