India's crashed moon lander Chandrayaan-2 located

2019-12-04 Xinhua Editor:Li Yan

After U.S. space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) released images of the debris of India's crashed moon lander Chandrayaan-2, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief Kailasavadivoo Sivan said an Indian orbiter had already located it earlier.

"Our own orbiter had located Vikram Lander, we had already declared that on our website, you can go back and see," Sivan was quoted by a local news agency Asian News International on Wednesday as saying.

A statement available on ISRO website dated Sept. 10, 2019 reads Vikram lander has been located by the orbiter of Chandrayaan-2. However, ISRO has not made any images related to the claim public.

"Vikram lander has been located by the orbiter of Chandrayaan-2, but no communication with it yet. All possible efforts are being made to establish communication with the lander," reads the brief statement posted by ISRO in September.

NASA Tuesday posted images "clicked by its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) that show the site of impact and the associated debris field."

The U.S. space agency said it released a mosaic image of the site on Sept. 26, following which Shanmuga Subramanian, an Indian engineer based in the southern Indian city of Chennai contacted the LRO project "with positive identification of debris."

"The debris first located by Shanmuga is about 750 meters northwest of the main crash site and was a single bright pixel identification in that first mosaic (1.3 meter pixels, 84 degrees incidence angle). The November mosaic shows best the impact crater, ray and extensive debris field. The three largest pieces of debris are each about 2x2 pixels and cast a one pixel shadow," reads a statement issued by NASA.

Chandrayaan-2 was launched on July 22 from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh by ISRO. The mission was originally scheduled to launch on July 15 but that was aborted, with less than an hour remaining, after scientists discovered a technical glitch.

If India would have succeeded in its endeavour, it would have become the fourth country to soft-land a spacecraft on the lunar surface after the United States, Russia and China.

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