After three months since ISRO’s Vikram lander attempted to make a soft-landing on the moon, the debris of the spacecraft was finally located. A Chennai engineer’s dedicated efforts to spot the lander’s debris bore fruit as his theory was confirmed by NASA Tuesday. The US space agency released a picture showing the site of the lander’s impact and the “associated debris field”.
On Tuesday, NASA issued a statement confirming Subramanian’s findings and even gave him credit for the finding.
— NASA (@NASA) December 2, 2019
The Indian space enthusiast told ANI that he had spotted some differences in the photos released by The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera team and spent seven to eight hours for many days to confirm the exact location where the lander’s debris could be found. He then notified NASA.
Shanmuga Subramanian, an amateur astronomer from Chennai: I spent 7-8 hours each day for 4-5 days on this. This is something that can be done by anyone with right knowledge. This should inspire a lot of people. https://t.co/E44mUEAiid
— ANI (@ANI) December 3, 2019
On social media, Indians praised the Chennai resident’s efforts and his name started trending on Twitter. People praised Subramanian for his dedication, effort and perseverance, with many calling him a “hero” and said he was “inspiring”.
Why aren’t the headlines reading ‘Indian engineer discovers Vikram Lander debris. NASA confirms finding?’ Can’t we give enough credit to our own tech wizards? https://t.co/oIE7xUdA5A
— anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) December 3, 2019
The headline isn’t giving out the complete picture, why don’t you give the guy: Shanmuga Subramanian @Ramanean his due credit on Social Media too & not just a mail or website, which people r not aware of 🤔@isro #VikramLander#Chandrayaan2@chandrayaan2 https://t.co/3GjT0UsONl pic.twitter.com/h1X4uwu6he
— Manuru Srinivas 🇮🇳 మణూరు శ్రీనివాస్ 🇮🇳 (@AbodeOfLakshmi) December 3, 2019
— பிரதீப் சண்முகம் (Pradeep Shanmugam) (@Pradeep_shanchi) December 3, 2019
This is what you call a great collaborative effort! pic.twitter.com/CWHzAmCc0g
— Ali Reza (@Reza_Ali20) December 3, 2019
Kudos to Shanmuga Subramanian for his perseverance in locating Vikram lander site. We need more such heroes who take on themselves with available resources. Vikram Lander Found https://t.co/OjS3UT3Zkw
— Girish Dhanakshirur (@girishdshirur) December 3, 2019
Well done Shanmuga subramanian and @nasa . It’s a great feeling that an indian found the debris of chandrayaan 2 . I hope till now @isro should detected the loopholes of mission fail, next time we will conquer on the moon..#Chandrayaan2 #NASA pic.twitter.com/MhBUv10hPu
— piyush kumar (@piyushkumar9570) December 3, 2019
— Anuradha Joshi (@dranujoshi1) December 3, 2019
#VikramLander #Chandrayaan2 Thank you Shanmuga Subramanian @Ramanean for your discovery. You’ve made Indians proud. We finally know that #VikramLander did reach very close to the intended landing spot. @isro bring on #Chandrayaan3.
— Vishnu Shankar (@ShankarV06) December 3, 2019
@Ramanean thank you for finding the Chandrayaan 2 debris.
Have to admire your patience and perseverance !
— Rohan (@Rohan_29nov) December 3, 2019
— Anshu 🚩 (@Sun_to_myShine) December 3, 2019
— Abhi Silswal (@AbhiSilswal707) December 3, 2019
Well done mate! Salute your determination. Shows importance of information made available in public space. Great to see NASA recognising his efforts!
— sudhir venugopal (@sudhir62) December 3, 2019
Congrats bro! a proud moment for all of us! a BIG Salute to You!🖖🙏
— Manoj Kumar 🇮🇳 (@wilderzlife) December 3, 2019
Congratulations! Thats really amazing. Kudos to you for your effort and persistence.
— Tarun (@blunderer15) December 3, 2019
Congratulations..a proud moment surely..all the time spent was worth it…cheers
— Ceejo Thomas (@ceejothomas) December 3, 2019
Very proud of your archievement. You truly epitomize the spirit of our constitution – ‘to develop scientific temper’. Well done.
— Kumar Jayant (@QuiescentKJ) December 3, 2019
In its statement, NASA said, “Shanmuga Subramanian contacted the LRO project with positive identification of debris. After receiving this tip, the LROC team confirmed the identification by comparing before and after images.”
ISRO had so far avoided any comment on the fate of the Vikram lander. It had maintained that communication with the lander was lost when it was 355 metres above the moon, and efforts were being made to restore contact.
Three days after the incident, ISRO had said the Orbiter module of Chandrayaan-2, which is functioning normally and circling the moon, had spotted Vikram and taken thermal images, but did not specify the condition of the lander.