Toyota, Japan Space Agency To Develop Moon Rover

Toyota, JAXA to develop manned moon probe

Toyota, JAXA to develop manned moon probe

On Tuesday, the automaker announced an agreement with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to potentially collaborate on global space exploration.

Toyota revealed its plans for a manned, pressurized moon rover it hopes to land on the moon in 2029, in collaboration with the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

"I believe that our industry, which is constantly thinking about the role it should fulfill, shares the same aspirations of worldwide space exploration", Toyoda said. "We aim at launching such a rover into space in 2029", he added. Toyota and JAXA have been jointly studying the concept of a manned, pressurized rover since May of 2018.

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

The use of fuel cells allows the rover to travel over a great distance on the lunar surface as well as maintain mobility that's necessary in exploring the moon.

With recent space exploration from China and developments for SpaceX in the U.S., the space race is again hotting up with nations striving to explore further and spend extended times in space and on the surface of the moon. The two firms have signed an agreement that will see them cooperate on a joint study for a manned and pressurized rover. It seems likely that total will grow if the fuel cell continues to be topped up using solar energy.

Toyota president Akio Toyodo said that cars, even now on our planet, play active roles in "making sure that people come back alive". And I think that coming back alive is exactly what is needed in this project.

Lunar gravity is one-sixth of that on Earth. Moreover, it is exposed to radiation and temperature conditions that are much harsher than those on Earth, as well as an ultra-high vacuum environment. The rover will be pressurized and have a claimed range of over 10,000 km.

JAXA, which succeeded in February in having the Hayabusa2 probe touch down on a distant asteroid, is now focusing on using the technology to achieve a controlled touchdown on the Moon's surface.

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