Amateur astronomer Shanmugam Subramanian alerted NASA about location of Vikram Lander | Worked 7 hours daily on his laptop

shanmugam Subramanian

The Hush Post| 12:22 pm|two-minute-read|

Vikram Lander was detected by NASA but what’s more important is that a Chennai-based engineer, not associated with ISRO, Shanmugam Subramanian was the one to alert NASA about the presence of the debris of the lander of Chandrayaan 2.

He had alerted both the US space agency and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The 33-year-old mechanical engineer said that he got a good response from the scientists at NASA.

“I did send a tweet to NASA and ISRO. I sent emails to a couple of NASA scientists. They were in charge of the LRO (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter) images. I got a good response from them,” Mr Subramanian said. 

With just a laptop and an internet connection, Shanmugam Subramanian said he worked seven hours daily in his Chennai apartment to locate the lander. “I narrowed my search to 2 square kilometres. I used only a laptop and searched all the images,” he said.

“Is This Vikram Lander?  (1 Km From The Landing Spot) Lander Might Have Been Buried In Lunar Sand?” Shanamugam Subramanian tweeted on October 3. He also tagged NASA and ISRO.

On November 17, he tweeted more details with two images of the crash site.

Shanmugam Subramanian is a native of Madurai and works in the IT sector

ISRO had lost contact with the Vikram lander following its launch from Chandraayan 2 moon orbiter on September 6. This happened when it tried to make soft-landing near the moon’s south pole. A successful soft-landing on the moon’s surface would have made the country only the fourth – after the United States, Russia and China – to achieve the feat.

NASA had released a mosaic image of the site on September 26. NASA

Mr Subramaniam was first person to come up with a the identification. NASA’s inability to find the lander on its own had sparked his interest, said Subramanian.

“It’s quite big but it is a little sad at the same time because we all expected Vikram to land on the surface. I hope ISRO will again have a successful Chandrayaan 3 and they will be able to land on moon next time,” he said.

Shanmugam Subramanian is from Madurai and works in the IT sector, at a multinational firm. He is an engineering graduate from the Government Engineering College in Tirunelvelli. The space enthusiast says his discovery will inspire many amateurs.


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