Russia supplies alpha-emitter for India’s Chandrayaan-2 | Current Affairs, Current Affairs 2017

Russia supplies alpha-emitter for India’s Chandrayaan-2

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Russia supplies alpha-emitter for India's Chandrayaan-2Russian company Isotope (part of Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation) said it has supplied Cm-244 alpha-emitter to be installed in a scientific instrument in India’s Chandrayaan-2 satellite.

In a statement, Isotope said it has supplied Cm-244 alpha-emitter to Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, which comes under the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

“Radionuclide curium-244 (Cm-244) manufactured by Russian ‘State Scientific Center – Research Institute of Atomic Reactors’ (JSC SSC RIAR) is a pure alpha-emitter that enables sources to determine chemical composition of any rocks and soils,” the statement added.

It will be installed on the Alpha Proton X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) aimed at analysing the lunar surface within the India’s second lunar exploration mission Chandrayaan-2.

The launch of spacecraft is scheduled for 2018.

According to the statement, Russia has already supplied similar products to USA for launching of three NASA’s expeditions – Mars Pathfinder (1997), Opportunity (2004) and Curiosity (2012) dedicated to explore rock chemistry on Mars.

In 2014 the world’s first soft landing of the Rosetta spacecraft on Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko took place. The lander Philae, equipped with Russian made Cm-244 transmitted high-accuracy data about the comet’s surface composition to Earth.

Cm-244 production is carried out only by two countries – Russia and the US.

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