New Delhi (Sputnik) — India Space Research Organization (ISRO) has selected Russian company JSC Isotope for supply of Radionuclide curium-244 (Cm-244) that enables sources to determine chemical composition of any rocks and soils. "Supplied by JSC Isotope sources will be installed on the Alpha Proton X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) aimed at analyzing the lunar surface within the Indian space program Chandrayaan-2," reads statement released by ROSATOM. Chndrayaan 2 is proposed to be launched during the first quarter of 2018.
Similar Russian sources have already supplied to US for launching of three NASA's expeditions — Mars Pathfinder (1997), Opportunity (2004) and Curiosity (2012) dedicated to explore rock chemistry on Mars. Cm-244 production is carried out only in Russia and the USA.
"Special tests for new systems in Lander have been identified and a Lander Sensors Performance Test over artificial craters created in Chitradurga district in Karnataka, has been conducted. Lunar Terrain Test facility is ready for Lander drop test and Rover mobility tests," said Jitendra Singh, India's Minister of State for Space.
Government claims that the cost of the mission is $ 91 million.