A NASA satellite orbiting the Moon found the Vikram lander of India crashing on the lunar surface in September, said Monday the US space agency.
NASA released an image taken by it is Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) showing the spacecraft’s impact site (September 6 in India and September 7 in the United States) and related debris field, with parts scattered over nearly two dozen locations spanning several kilometers.
NASA said in a statement that on September 26 it released a mosaic image of the site, inviting the public to search for the lander’s signs.
This added that the LRO project was contacted by a person named Shanmuga Subramanian with a positive debris identification— the first piece identified about 750 meters northwest of the main crash site.
Blasting off in July, rising Asian giant India had hoped with its Chandrayaan-2 (“Moon Vehicle 2”) mission to become only the fourth country to make a successful Moon landing after the United States, Russia, and global rival China and the first on the lunar south pole.
The main spacecraft, which remains in orbit around the Moon, dropped the unmanned lander Vikram for a five-day descent, but only 2.1 kilometers above the surface remained silent on the probe.
Days after the failed landing, the Indian Space Research Organization said it had located the lander but was unable to communicate.