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NASA Locates Debris of Chandrayaan 2’s Vikram Lander on Moon

Author : Odisha Today Bureau | Posted on: 2019-12-03

NASA’s Moon-orbiting spacecraft has found the debris of Chandrayaan 2’s lander Vikram on the surface of the Moon, the US space agency confirmed on Tuesday, nearly three months after India’s ambitious mission made a hard landing near the uncharted lunar south pole.

 

NASA released an image taken by its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) that showed the site of the spacecraft's impact (September 6 in India and September 7 in the US) and associated debris field, with parts scattered over almost two dozen locations spanning several kilometres.

 

In a statement, NASA said it released a mosaic image of the site on September 26, inviting the public to search it for signs of the lander. It added that a person named Shanmuga Subramanian contacted the LRO project with a positive identification of debris — with the first piece found about 750 meters northwest of the main crash site.

 

The US space agency also posted a before and after image that highlights changes to the surface and the impact point.

 

The roughly $140 million mission, known 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.

 

The space agency's chairman, K Sivan, had earlier called Chandrayaan-2 the "most complex mission ever" undertaken by the space agency.

 

The mission lifted off on July 22 from the Satish Dhawan space centre, 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 making its way to the moon, ultimately entering lunar orbit on August 20.

 

Days after the attempt to land on the lunar surface, ISRO had confirmed that they had lost all communications with the orbiter. Later, NASA had said the Chandrayaan 2 lander had a “hard landing” and had released pictures of the targeted landing site.

 

The ambitious Chandrayaan-2 mission to the Moon was launched in July. If the spacecraft had reached the surface in one piece September 7, India would have been only the fourth country to successfully put a lander on the Moon.

 

 

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