Chennai-based engineer Shanmuga Subramanian, who was credited by NASA last year for spotting the debris of the Vikram lander of Chandrayaan 2 on moon, has come up with another revelation. The techie has claimed to have spotted Chandrayaan 2's rover (Pragyan), which he said on Twitter is pretty much "intact" on the moon's surface.
In a series of tweets, Subramanian claimed that the rover had "rolled out a few metres from the skeleton Vikram lander whose payloads got disintegrated due to rough landing".
He also made these observations:
- "Debris I found was of Langumir probe from the Vikram lander
2. Debris NASA found might be from other payloads, antenna, retro braking engines, solar panels on side etc.,
3. Rover has rolled out from lander & has actually travelled few metres from the surface"
He also said that that the commands were sent to lander "blindly" for days and "there is a distinct possibility that lander could have received commands and relayed it to the rover.. but lander was not able to communicate it back to the earth".
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) had lost contact with the lander Vikram following its launch from Chandrayaan 2 moon orbiter on 7September when it tried to make soft-landing near the moon's south pole.
The prized lander was part of India’s second mission to the Moon—Chandrayaan-2 was launched on 22 July from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. However, it went incommunicado two minutes before it was expected to make a soft landing on 7 September. At the time, the lander was believed to have made a hard landing on the Moon. The mission consisted of an orbiter, lander Vikram and rover Pragyan.
Subramanian has also mailed ISRO about his latest find, a screenshot of which he shared on Twitter.
The Chandrayaan 2 is a ₹978 crore unmanned moon mission with the satellite alone costing ₹603 crore while the launch vehicle ₹375 crore.
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. It would also have made India the first country to complete a soft landing near the South Pole on its very first attempt.
India's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, GSLV MkIII-M1 successfully launched the 3,840-kg Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft into the Earth's orbit on July 22. The spacecraft successfully entered the lunar orbit on August 20 by performing Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) manoeuvre, and on September 2, 'Vikram' successfully separated from the orbiter.