Chennai engineer helps locate Vikram Lander, says NASA

An engineer from the city, Shanmuga Subramanian (33) also known as 'Shan' found the debris of Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram Lander.

Shanmuga used lunar images from NASA’s Moon’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and studied them to locate the debris. He spent hours looking at the images on his laptop and located it 750 meters northwest of the main crash site. Subsequently, he wrote to NASA informing about his findings.

A mechanical engineer and a computer programmer, he works as a technical architect at an Engineering company, Lennox India Technology Centre, in Chennai. He is said to have made India’s greatest space discovery of the lander.

NASA’s deputy project Scientist (LRO Mission), John Keller, wrote an email to him recognising his role and contribution to the project. ‘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,’ NASA said in a statement.

‘Shanmuga 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,’ reports said.