Nasa locates India’s Chandrayaan-2 debris

2019-12-03 at 13:00

Nasa says one of its satellites has found the debris of India’s Moon rover which crashed on the lunar surface in September.

The space agency released a picture showing the site of the rover’s impact and the “associated debris field”.

Nasa has credited an Indian engineer, Shanmuga Subramanian, with helping locate the site of the debris.

Mr Subramanian examined a Nasa picture and located the first debris about 750m north-west of the crash site.

Chandrayaan-2 was due to touch down at the lunar South Pole on 7 September, over a month after it first took off.

It approached the Moon as normal until an error occurred about 2.1km (1.3 miles) from the surface, moments before it was to touch down.

The rover lost contact and had a “hard landing” about 600km (370 miles) from the South Pole in a “relatively ancient terrain”.

Announcing the discovery of the Vikram lander, Nasa tweeted a mosaic image of the site.

In late September, pictures from a Nasa spacecraft had showed the targeted landing site of the Vikram rover.

Many people had downloaded the image released by Nasa’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) team, a statement by the space agency said.

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”.

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