NASA finds remains of India’s lost moon lander (with help from Indian engineer)

Rob Waugh
The lander crashed in October (NASA)

The shattered remains of India’s moon lander have been spotted by a NASA satellite, after it crashed on the moon in September

The crash site was found by an Indian engineer, and NASA released a photo showing the site of the lander’s impact this week. 

India's space agency lost touch with the Vikram lunar lander after it crash-landed during its final approach to the Moon's south pole to deploy a rover to search for signs of water.

A successful landing would have made India just the fourth country to land a vessel on the lunar surface, and only the third to operate a robotic rover there.


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The engineer, Shanmuga Subramanian, said he examined an earlier Nasa photo to locate the debris.

The space agency said in a statement that Mr Subramanian located the debris about half a mile north west of the main crash site.

"It took days of work to find the crash site," the engineer said.

"I searched around the north of the landing spot and found a small little dot. When I compared it to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter images of the site from the last nine years, I located the debris and reached out to Nasa."

The 33-year-old announced his discovery on Twitter on October 3, after which Nasa performed additional searches in the area and made an official announcement.

The space agency said that, after receiving Mr Subramanian's findings, its team "confirmed the identification by comparing before and after images".

Nasa also said: "Despite the loss, getting that close to the surface was an amazing achievement."