JAXA, Toyota to develop manned lunar rover

Space										
		
																	Japan might get an awesome new Moon rover built by Toyota					
								
			
	
		Mike Wehner			@MikeWehner

Reports have revealed that the automotive manufacturer has partnered with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency to develop a new six-wheeled autonomous transporter that will be sent to the moon very soon. Toyota and JAXA plan to use the moon rover to explore the surface of the moon.

It would be almost 20 feet (6 meters) long, a little over 17 feet (5.2 m) wide, and 12 and a half feet (3.8 m) tall.

'For wide ranging human exploration of the moon, a pressurized rover that can travel more than 10,000 km in such environments is necessary'. Meanwhile, the lunar landscape has a complex terrain with hills, cliffs, and craters. The automaker and Japanese space agency announced an agreement to study the possibility of collaborating on global space exploration.

The space agency plans to launch an unmanned moon probe in 2021, followed by a manned lunar expedition in 2029.

Now it's using its technology to conquer space.

Toyota has been involved in JAXA's rover project since May of 2018. "Additionally, it is exposed to temperature and radiation conditions that are much harsher than those on Earth, and also an ultra-high vacuum environment", explained Koichi Wakata, JAXA Vice President.

The rover will use solar arrays and fuel cells to generate and store power.

Toyota is looking to put a fuel cell-powered rover on the moon. For electrification, fuel cell batteries represent an indispensable technology.

The rover will have an enclosed body capable of providing all the needed functions and features for the crew to survive and do business without the need for them to be equipped with space suits.

The Toyota would be a massive leap in lunar driving technology. "Being allowed to be a member of "Team Japan", we would like to take up the challenge of space".

JAXA is separately taking part in an worldwide manned exploratory mission to the moon scheduled for the first half of the 2030s. The max capacity is four in case of an emergency, Toyota said in its joint announcement with the agency on Tuesday.

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