NASA made the announcement on Monday, releasing an image taken by its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) that showed the site of the spacecraft's impact (September 6 in India and September 7 in the US).
Speaking to IANS, LRO's Project Scientist said, "The story of this really fantastic individual (who) found it, helped us find it is really awesome".
The Vikram lander of Chandrayaan-2 (Sanskrit for "Moon vehicle") was due to land in the lunar South Pole region and was equipped with a rover to search the area. He used lunar images from Nasa's Moon's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) captured on different dates (September 17, October 14, 15 and November 11) and studied them for weeks to locate the debris of the lander. Unfortunately, the Indian space agency lost contact with Vikram shortly before the scheduled touchdown.
Petro said: "This is the wonderful thing about our data".
"His discovery pointed us to the right area".
"I did send a tweet to NASA and ISRO", he said. The LROC team confirmed that the location does exhibit changes in images taken before and after the date of the landing. A mechanical engineer by qualification, it was always space technology and rockets that fascinated the young lad.
Earlier this year, Israel's uncrewed Beresheet spacecraft also crashed during a Moon landing attempt.
Subramanian spoke of the social media world of space enthusiasts where intense discussions were taking place about the mystery of Vikram and which helped his quest. "I got a good response from them".
S. Somanath, director of ISRO's Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, said during an October 21 interview at the International Astronautical Congress in Washington that ISRO was holding off on making a formal announcement about the lander's fate until engineers completed simulations of what happened to it after contact was cut off. He pointed out that no white dot was seen in the old picture of the same spot from December 2017 which indicated that the white dot on the left image is Vikram lander.
That tweet was from CG Bassa, an astronomer with Astron, the Dutch radio astronomy institute.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is yet to share their comments on the image publicly. But in that image, someone named Shanmuga Subramanian spotted one extraordinarily bright pixel and reached out to the LROC team, according to a NASA statement released yesterday.