Almost three months after the Chandrayaan-2 lander Vikram disappeared from the ISRO radar, the mystery was solved by a city-based techie and space enthusiast who surprised even NASA by discovering the Lander’s debris after comparing the two crashed site images – one released by ISRO and the other released by NASA – pixel by pixel.
Subramanian, an IT engineer and space enthusiast made the breakthrough by spotting Vikram through NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbital (LRO) Camera, which was released to the public. “I am really happy to have located it. It was not easy. It was through hard work and concentration,” Subramanian said. “I compared the two crashed site images -- one released by ISRO and other released by NASA - pixel by pixel. During the comparison I found many differences and finally located it.”
Speaking to DT Next, he said after locating the debris, he had tweeted NASA on October 3 about the lander, which was 1km from the landing spot. “Is this Vikram lander? (1 km from the landing spot) Lander might have been buried in Lunar sand?” he had tweeted and also tagged ISRO.
Responding to Subramanian’s tweet, NASA conducted a series of researches and officially announced the finding almost two months later. In their email to the techie, NASA’s Kellerr John, Deputy Project Scientist, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission said, “Thank you for your e-mail informing us of your discovery of the debris from Vikram lander. The LROC team confirmed that the location does exhibit changes in images taken before and after the date of landing. Using this information, the LROC team did additional searches and located the site of the primary impact as well as other debris around the impact location and announced the sighting on the NASA and ASU pages where you have been given credit for your observation”.