Did you lose this? NASA spots wreckage from India’s Vikram lunar lander

It was meticulous data analysis for about eight hours everyday and burning the midnight oil that helped him zero in on the crash site, says Chennai based software engineer Shanmuga Subramanian credited for helping USA space agency NASA to discover Chandrayaan-2's Vikram lander's debris on the lunar surface.

The lunar lander was part of India's unmanned Chandrayaan-2 mission and was meant to search for signs of water on the moon.

It's been over two months since India's mission to land on the Moon was cut short by a mysterious and unexplained failure of the Vikram lander spacecraft.

But things took a turn for the worst when the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) lost contact with the vehicle shortly before arrival.

Nasa, in a tweet, confirmed the news and released images of the impact site on Moon's surface.

NASA, with the assistance of an amateur image analyst, has identified the crash site of India's Vikram lunar lander, the agency announced December 2.

NASA credited the achievement to the Chennai-based IT professional Shanmuga Subramanian for finding the debris.

"Is This Vikram Lander? I got confirmation from NASA today", Subramanian told ANI.

The techie said he had launched a separate search of his own and had taken it up as a challenge after NASA had given up.

The LROC team scoured the surrounding area in these new mosaics and found the impact point about 2,500 feet to the southeast of the planned touchdown site, and a spray of debris emanating outwards. "The November mosaic had the best pixel scale (0.7 meters) and lighting conditions (72° incidence angle)", read NASA's statement.

A version of the picture was marked up to show the associated debris field, with parts scattered over nearly two dozen locations spanning several kilometres.

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An animation released by NASA also shows a before and after comparison of the crash site, in which a faint streak of debris can be seen near the bottom third of the more recent photo.

The Vikram module, which was supposed to carry out various tests on the lunar soil, had completed the rough braking phase as planned and entered the phase of fine braking at an altitude of 2.1 km, when it lost communication.

Mr Subramanian has tweeted an email sent to him by the space agency congratulating him for his effort.

The mission consisted of a main spacecraft that would stay in orbit around the Moon and drop the unmanned lander Vikram onto its surface.

It said after receiving Mr Subramanian's tip about the location of the debris, the LROC team "confirmed the identification by comparing before and after images".

"I apologise for the delay in getting back to you".

"We needed to be certain of our interpretation of the observation", he said.

However, NASA was helped in this endeavour by a young amateur space enthusiast from India.

Shan, who hails from Madurai, is a mechanical engineer, blogger, app developer, and QA engineer.

"I used to return from work at 8 pm".

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