‘Chandrayaan-2 orbiter already located Vikram lander earlier’

ISRO chief K Sivan reacts after NASA release imagesĀ 

‘Chandrayaan-2 orbiter already located Vikram lander earlier’: ISRO chief K Sivan reacts after NASA release images

After NASA on Tuesday said that it has found debris of Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram Lander and credited a Chennai techie for this achievement, K Sivan, Chief of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has said Chandrayaan-2 orbiter had already located Vikram Lander which was also announced by the space agency on its website in September.

K Sivan said, “Our own orbiter had located Vikram Lander, we had already declared that on our website, you can go back and see.” ISRO chief’s statement has come after NASA’s Tuesday announcement of finding Vikram Lander.

On September 10, 2019, ISRO on its website had stated that Vikram Lander has been located by the orbiter of Chandrayaan-2, however, it was still unable to establish communication with the lander but efforts were underway.

On Tuesday, almost three months after ISRO’s Chandrayaan-2 crash landing on the moon, NASA said that it has found the debris of the Vikram Lander.

NASA credited Chennai-based IT professional for finding the debris of the Vikram Lander.

Taking it to Twitter, NASA said, “The Chandrayaan 2 Vikram lander has been found by our @NASAMoon mission, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. See the first mosaic of the impact site.”

Vikram Lander was supposed to make a soft landing on the moon on September 7 but just minutes before the landing, ISRO lost contact with the Lander.

In a release after finding the debris of the Vikram Lander, NASA has said that it released images of the Chandrayaan-2’s landing site on the moon on September 26, however, the images were taken on September 17 and invited people to compare the new images to earlier images released by the space agency.

According to NASA’s release, Shanmuga Subramanian, a 33-year-old techie is the first person who has come up with the results.

“I had side-by-side comparison of those two images on two of my laptops… on one side there was the old image, and another side there was the new image released by NASA,” Agence France Presse quoted Shanmuga Subramanian.

Subramanian also said that he was helped by other users on Twitter and Reddit.

ISRO’s second moon mission, Chandrayaan-2 had three main parts – orbiter, lander (Vikram) and rover (Pragyan). In the last-minute snag, a communication link between the lander and the orbiter snapped as the former was descending towards the moon’s south pole.

The orbiter has been in contact with ISRO and is expected to beam back critical information.

The orbiter’s camera has the highest resolution (0.3m) among all lunar missions executed till date and will provide clear images which will be useful to the global scientific community.

After the loss of contact with Vikram, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had encouraged the country’s space scientists to persevere in their endeavours, terming ISRO’s attempt a “great feat”.

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