Toyota's making a moon rover for Japan

Toyota's making a moon rover for Japan

Toyota President, Akio Toyoda said, "Going beyond the frameworks of countries or regions, I believe that our industry, which is constantly thinking about the role it should fulfil shares the same aspirations of global space exploration".

Toyota is an off-road specialist brand that manufactures and sells more 4x4 vehicles globally than any other auto company, so it was the logical choice for the new moon rover, or should we say "Moon Cruiser". Toyota is touting the fuel cell technology and the 10,000-mile range of the rover.

As a first step, JAXA and Toyota have reached an agreement to further cooperate on and accelerate their ongoing joint study of a manned, pressurized rover that employs fuel cell electric vehicle technologies.

The concept proposal for the pressurised rover being studied by JAXA and Toyota is the size of two microbuses.

Size-wise, the rover will be around the size of two minibusses and will have 13 square meters of habitable space for astronauts to move around inside while they're exploring the moon's surface.

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The vehicle uses Toyota's fuel cell vehicle technologies and would have a cruising range of more than 6,000 miles on the surface of the moon, despite limited amounts of fuel that can be brought there. The new agreement is meant to showcase Japanese technological know-how.

Safety is a major concern for Toyota, so the automaker will pay careful attention to details to ensure any human astronaut returns safely from the lunar rover, to the vessel, and back to Earth. In the future, companies will likely work to develop concepts and production vehicles for their "home planet". Instead of a family sedan, the vehicle manufacturer is making a pressurized self-driving rover to cruise the lunar surface. For this, we would like to concentrate our country's technological abilities and conduct technological studies.

Toyota and JAXA have already been collaborating on the manned, pressurized rover, according to the release.

Under the plan, the rover, deployed from the Gateway, will travel on the moon's surface close to the south pole for five explorations between 2029 and 2034. And I think that coming back alive is exactly what is needed in this project.

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