A NASA satellite orbiting the Moon has found India's Vikram lander, which crashed in September, the US space agency said on Monday, December 2nd.
NASA released an image taken by its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) that showed the site of the spacecraft's impact (September 6th in India and September 7th in the US), with parts scattered over almost two dozen locations spanning several kilometres.
According to AFP, NASA said it released a mosaic image of the site on September 26th, inviting the public to search for signs of the lander. Since then, both scientists and amateurs have spent months combing through images in search of the crash.
A person named Shanmuga Subramanian contacted the LRO project with a positive identification of debris after spotting an especially bright pixel, with the first piece found about 750 meters northwest of the main crash site.
Blasting off in July, emerging Asian giant India had hoped with its Chandrayaan-2 mission to become the fourth country after the United States, Russia, and regional rival China to make a successful Moon landing.
The main spacecraft, which remains in orbit around the Moon, dropped the unmanned lander Vikram for a descent that would have taken five days, but the probe went silent just 2.1 kilometres above the surface.
Days after the failed landing, the Indian Space Research Organisation said it had located the lander but had not been able to establish communication.