New Delhi: A day after a Chennai-based engineer declared of alerting the US space agency NASA to the crucial discovery of the debris of India’s Chandrayaan-2 ‘Vikram’ moon lander, ISRO chairman K Sivan refused to comment on NASA’s ‘discovery’ saying that the lander was already located by the Indian agency.
“Our own orbiter had located Vikram Lander, we had already declared that on our website, you can go back and see,” claimed Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chief K Sivan in his recent statement.
Earlier this year, after a successful launch of the much-lauded Chandrayaan-2, ISRO lost contact with its lander about 2 km away from the lunar surface when it tried to make a soft-landing near the moon’s south pole.
On September 10, days after ‘Vikram’ lost communication with the ground stations, the ISRO had put up a statement on its official website declaring that the lander “has been located by the orbiter of Chandrayaan-2, but no communication with it yet”.
However, on Tuesday, NASA announced that it found the crash site and debris of the lander of India’s ambitious Chandrayaan-2. The US space agency also tweeted the images clicked by its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) that show the site of impact and the associated debris field.
NASA’s statement read that the “debris first located by Shanmuga Subramanian about 750 meters northwest of the main crash site and was a single bright pixel identification in that first mosaic.”
LRO Project Scientist Noah Petro, to whom Subramanian emailed his finding, had said, “The story of this really amazing individual (who) found it, helped us find it, is really awesome.”
Subramanian spoke of the social media world of space enthusiasts where intense discussions were taking place about the mystery of Vikram and which helped his quest.
Ever since ISRO lost contact with Vikram, NASA had made several attempts to locate the Chandrayaan-2 lander with the help of its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.