Toyota's making a moon rover for Japan

Toyota's making a moon rover for Japan

Toyota and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have their sights set on sending humans back to the moon.

The rover would be able to travel more than 10,000 km on the moon, letting Japan's astronauts explore the lunar surface.

JAXA believes it will have the ability to launch the lunar rover into space come 2029, and more manned missions will come throughout the 2030s.

The vehicle, which is still in the conceptual stage, will be 6 meters (20 feet) long, or about the size of two minibuses, according to Toyota.


The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) have announced that they will be studying the possibility of a collaboration on global space exploration.

Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda said the project shows confidence in the "durability and driving performance" of the automaker's vehicles and its fuel cell technology for powering electric cars.

With the moon's complex terrain and the challenge of radiation and temperature conditions, a pressurized rover that can move easily on the surface is an absolute necessity.

During a symposium on Tuesday, March 12 in Tokyo, Toyota executive vice president Shigeki Terashi expresses his excitement at the automotive company's new project and explains the value of state-of-the-art fuel cell technology. "We aim to contribute through leading Japanese technologies that can potentially generate spin-off benefits", JAXA President Hiroshi Yamakawa said in a prepared statement. And I think that coming back alive is exactly what is needed in this project. Manned rovers with pressurized cabins are an element that will play an important role in full-fledged exploration and use of the lunar surface.


'Lunar gravity is one-sixth of that on Earth, ' explained JAXA Vice President Koichi Wakata.

The original manned moon rover was the Boeing LRV (Lunar Roving Vehicle), which was used during the Apollo space missions in the early 1970s. However, Toyota claims that the Moon Rover will able to fit four people in case of an emergency.

"Being allowed to be a member of 'Team Japan, ' we would like to take up the challenge of space".


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