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From watching Doordarshan to finding Vikram Lander: Shanmuga story you must read

'No body knows me' is how Shanmuga Subramanian describes himself on his Facebook Page. Come Tuesday morning and world knows that the Chennai man - a Technical Architect at Lennox India Technology Centre has helped NASA and ISRO locate India's - Vikram the Lander. This is Shanmuga's story.

New Delhi Updated on: December 03, 2019 14:01 IST
Shanmuga Subramanian
Image Source : SOCIAL MEDIA

Story of Shanmuga Subramanian -- who alerted NASA about Vikram Lander

His Facebook introduction states, "Nobody knows me". It may be a philosophical statement. But today the world knows the 33-year old mechanical engineer Shanmuga Subramanian originally from Madurai and now a Technical Architect at Lennox India Technology Centre. For he was the person who first spotted the debris of India's moon lander Vikram on the lunar surface after it crash-landed on September 7, 2019.

The US space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has credited him for discovering the debris of Vikram.

Feeling happy, Subramanian told IANS: "Since my school days, I was interested in space and rocket launches. I never missed out watching an Indian rocket launch on Doordarshan. I have seen most of the launches of PSLV and GSLV."

Subramanian said he got very much interested in the Chandrayaan-2 mission as the media wrote about it extensively.

When India's moon lander Vikram crashed into the lunar surface and was not traceable, Subramanian got interested to check out whether he could find it. And he succeeded in that mission.

On Tuesday, his Facebook friends erupted in joy and congratulated him after he posted a message that NASA has credited him for finding Vikram lander.

Since Sept 7, the Indian, as well as the global space community, were wondering as to the fate of Vikram as there was no trace of it.

However, space enthusiast Subramanian pored over the images that the US space agency NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbital (LRO) Camera released to the public.

Comparing the images of the lunar surface before and after Sept 7, Subramanian found some disturbances and differences.

"Is this Vikram lander -- (1 km from the landing spot)?" It might have been buried in Lunar sand?" he had tweeted on Oct 3 and tagged Indian space agency Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and NASA.

Subsequently, on Nov 17 Subramanian also saw two pictures of the lunar surface and said: "This might be Vikram lander's crash site (Latitude: 70.8552 Longitude: 21.71233 ) & the ejector that was thrown out of it might have landed over here."

He had tweeted the pictures of the lunar surface taken on July 16th and the one taken on Sept 17.

A bright student from school days, Subramanian had scored 91 per cent in plus two and 90 per cent in his 10th standard matriculation stream.

Later he joined a mechanical engineering course in a government engineering college in Tirunelveli.

"Even though I was interested in space, I felt only through IT (information technology) one can change people's life and decided to get into this field," Subramanian said.

After his graduation, he joined the IT company Cognizant and later moved over to Lennox India.

Subramanian has a sister and his father retired as a government employee while his mother is a professor in a college.

Also Read | How Chennai's Shanmuga Subramanian helped NASA locate Vikram Lander

Also Read | NASA spots Vikram Lander's crash site on moon, takes photos of debris

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