In September, India attempted to become only the fourth country to soft-land on the moon, but theas it neared the lunar surface. ISRO had held out hope that the lander might have touched down intact, but in late November .
NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter had been on the hunt for the lander, butin the shadowy surface images captured during flybys.
The LRO team was finally able to locate the lander’s debris field with the help of some sharp eyes. A fresh flyby on Nov. 11 gave a better look at the crash site.
An annotated NASA image shows the main impact site. The green dots indicate confirmed or likely spacecraft debris and blue dots show where the soil was disturbed by the impact.
Lighting conditions had made it difficult to spot the subtle changes on the moon’s surface that showed where the lander broke apart on impact.
NASA released another processed image that makes the site easier to spot.
The lander and the rover it had on board may have met a sad fate, but the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter is still in operation and is busy studying the moon in detail from above.
Vikram is one more reminder thatare hard to pull off. “Despite the loss, getting that close to the surface was an amazing achievement,” NASA said.