Toyota, Japan Space Agency To Develop Moon Rover

Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency wants to put a Toyota vehicle on the moon

Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency wants to put a Toyota vehicle on the moon

JAXA president Hiroshi Yamakawa said that the cooperation between it and Toyota could generate spin-off benefits. Powering the lunar rover are hydrogen fuel cells, technology Toyota has pursued in recent years.

Speaking about the Moon Rover, Toyota President Akio Toyoda said, "The automotive industry has long done business with the concepts of "hometown" and "home country" largely in mind".

Toyota is a leader in fuel cell development back on earth, with many vehicles in testing - while its hydrogen fuel cell-powered Mirai compact auto has been on sale in the USA, Japan and Europe since 2014.

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. After the crew exits the rover, it will autonomously cruise to the next exploration point and wait for the arrival of a new crew. In the future, companies will likely work to develop concepts and production vehicles for their "home planet".

The agreement is meant to promote Japanese technological knowhow.




The rover "will be an important element supporting human lunar exploration, which we envision will take place in the 2030s", JAXA Vice President Koichi Wakata told a symposium in Tokyo.

"I believe that our industry, which is constantly thinking about the role it should fulfill, shares the same aspirations of global space exploration", Toyoda said. Furthermore, cars are used in all of Earth's regions, and, in some regions, cars play active roles as partners for making sure that people come back alive.

JAXA President Hiroshi Yamakawa, "Having Toyota join us in the challenge of worldwide space exploration greatly strengthens our confidence". For this, we would like to concentrate our country's technological abilities and conduct technological studies.

Toyota is to build a self-driving lunar rover that will enable astronauts to travel on the surface of the moon without space suits, as Japan raises the stakes amid renewed worldwide interest in lunar exploration. And I think that coming back alive is exactly what is needed in this project.

The rover is projected to be launched in 2029.

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