Shanmuga Subramanian: The Chennai Engineer Who Found Vikram Lander

NASA has credited Shanmuga Subramanian for finding the Vikram Lander on the lunar surface.

Updated03 Dec 2019, 12:13 PM IST
2 min read

On 26 September, twenty days after the Vikram lander encountered a hard landing on the surface of the moon, NASA released a mosaic image of the site and invited the public to search it for the signs of the lander.

Just about a week later, on 3 October, Shanmuga Subramanian, a Chennai-based mechanical engineer tagged the handles of NASA, its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and ISRO in a tweet, asking a rather innocuous-looking question, “Is this Vikram lander?”

All it took Subramanian to reach his conclusion was absence of a white spot on the lunar surface in its old images.

On 17 November, he further zeroed in on his observations and tweeted out the possible crash site of the lander.
As it turns out, Subramanian was spot on with his inferences, and now NASA has credited him for finding the lander.

Stalin Lauds Techie

DMK president MK Stalin on Tuesday lauded Subramaniam for helping NASA trace the Vikram lander.

“I commend Chennai-based programmer Shanmuga Subramanian who had used lunar images to trace #VikramLander on the Moon's surface," the DMK chief tweeted.

"Was also pleased to see confirmation and appreciation of this discovery by NASA and I wish Shanmuga Subramanian the very best for his future," he said.

‘No One Knows About Me’

In his blog, Subramanian describes himself as “I am a Blogger, Coder Photographer and a Nerd who dabbles with wide array of interests like Travelling, Space, Philosophy, Politics etc.”

A cursory glance on the blog and one would find DYI hacks like “How to receive FM on your Laptop without Internet” and “How to import multiple Google fonts in a Webpage.”

Sounds pretty much like a regular IT professional?

Till the morning of 3 December, it indeed was so, before Subramanian added to his Twitter bio, “...& I found Vikram Lander!”

As he basks in his new-found glory, it probably is time to update his Facebook bio, which still reads, “No one knows about me.”

We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated.

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Published: 03 Dec 2019, 03:16 AM IST

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