Toyota's making a moon rover for Japan

James Marshall
March 13, 2019

THE JAPANESE Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is creating a wheeled vehicle to traverse the surface of the moon in 2029, and it has gone to automotive giant Toyota to come up with the vehicle.

A spokesman for Toyota, which plans to ramp up fuel-cell cars as a zero-emission alternative to gasoline vehicles, said the project would give the company a chance to test its technologies in the moon's harsh environment and improve them.

Toyota has revealed the autonomous rover it could soon send to the moon.

Today, Toyota announced a somewhat vague agreement with JAXA that could result in a revolutionary lunar rover.

Toyota revealed plans for a moon rover in collaboration with the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on Tuesday.

"Manned, pressurized rovers will be an important element supporting human lunar exploration, which we envision will take place in the 2030s". JAXA president Hiroshi Yamakawa said that the cooperation between it and Toyota could generate spin-off benefits.

Toyota's concept vehicle, revealed in a new video and series of images today, will be created to hold two astronauts and runs on solar power and fuel cell technology.

'Meanwhile, the moon has a complex terrain with craters, cliffs, and hills. The 13m² cabin will house two astronauts, and the solar-fuel-cell vehicle is created to have a range of 10,000km.

Astronauts would be able to ride in the vehicle without their space suits on, while still having enough room for them to get in and out while wearing the bulky outfits.

The vehicle, which is expected to make its debut in 2029, is expected to have six wheels and be capable of transporting two humans (four in an emergency) a distance of 10,000 using solar power as well as fuel-cell technology being developed by Toyota. "We aim at launching such a rover into space in 2029", he added.

"At JAXA, we are pursuing global coordination and technological studies toward Japan's participation in worldwide space exploration".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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