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Location of lander proves orbiter functioning well: Expert

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NEW DELHI (PTI): The location of Vikram module of Chandrayaan 2 by ISRO on Sunday "proves beyond doubt" the orbiter is functioning well, said space expert Ajay Lele said.

Lele, a senior fellow at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses, also said it was only a matter time that the orbiter located Vikram and the question now remains on the health of the lander.

On Sunday, Indian Space Research Organisation Chairman K Sivan said the on-board cameras of the Chandrayaan 2 orbiter located the lander, a day after the ambitious Moon mission did not soft-land as planned.

Sivan said the lander may have hard-landed and efforts are being made to establish contact with it.

"The location of the lander module proves beyond doubt that the orbiter is working fine. The orbiter is the main element of the mission as it will work for more than a year," Lele said.

He said with the orbiter working fine, 90-95 per cent of the mission objective has been achieved.

Lele said the planned life of the orbiter is more than a year, so it will keep sending the data, while the rover was to conduct experiments for only one lunar day, which is 14 earth days.

He added that with the images and related data, it will be easier to determine the health of the lander.

The next challenge will now be to establish communication with the lander, said former ISRO scientist S Nambi Narayanan.

He said the chances of reestablishing communication look bleak as the lander may have crash-landed.

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