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Mon Dec 2, 2019, 11:09 PM

NASA satellite finds crashed Indian Moon lander Vikram

NASA satellite finds crashed Indian Moon lander Vikram
US space agency released an image that showed site of spacecraft's impact and associated debris field.

16 minutes ago

A NASA satellite orbiting the Moon has found India's Vikram lander which crashed on the lunar surface in September, the United States space agency said on Monday.

NASA released 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) and associated debris field, with parts scattered over almost two dozen locations spanning several kilometres.

In a statement, NASA said it released a mosaic image of the site on September 26, inviting the public to search it for signs of the lander.

It added that a person named Shanmuga Subramanian contacted the LRO project with positive identification of debris - with the first piece found about 750 metres northwest of the main crash site.


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Reply NASA satellite finds crashed Indian Moon lander Vikram (Original post)
Judi Lynn Dec 2 OP
flyingfysh Tuesday #1
caraher Tuesday #2

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Dec 3, 2019, 12:49 AM

1. How did the pieces get scattered so far?

Did it hit at a very shallow angle?

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Response to flyingfysh (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 3, 2019, 10:13 PM

2. Gravity is a factor of 6 weaker than on earth

Final telemetry appears to show a descent rate of 59 m/s at 335 m altitude and a horizontal speed of 48.1 m/s.


It's hard to say what the lander did once they lost control. If it was a freefall from that height we could work out the impact angle, and it would not have been far from vertical; but if engines were firing and it was tumbling or in some unusual attitude it's hard to say what the final descent angle would have been. I get a final descent rate of 67.6 m/s and an angle of 55.5 degrees below horizontal for an unpowered descent in lunar gravity from those starting parameters.

It's not hard to imagine going a few km with a solid bounce or two and maybe some rolling for bits of debris, especially in low gravity.

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