CHENNAI: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will be launching the second lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2, in 2018. It will use Russian technology to ascertain the chemical composition of lunar rocks and soil.
The Russian firm, Joint Stock Company Isotope, which is part of the Russian Federation National Nuclear Corporation (ROSATOM) has supplied Radionuclide Curium (Cm-244) alpha emitter to the Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad. It will help analyse lunar surface and rocks, according to ROSATOM South Asia spokesperson, Alexander Antipin.
He said the alpha emitter, manufactured by Russian State Scientific Centre-Research Institute of Atomic Reactors (JSC SSC RIAR), will be installed on Alpha Proton X-Ray Spectrometer to help the ISRO’s lunar exploration mission.
Russia had supplied similar products to the US for the launching of three NASA expeditions -- Mars Pathfinder (1997), Opportunity (2004) and Curiosity (2012).
Antipin said that the world’s first soft landing of a Russian spacecraft happened on Comet Churyumov -Gerasimenko. The lander Philae that had Cm-244 transmitted accurate data about the comet’s surface composition to Earth.