Japan might get an awesome new Moon rover built by Toyota

Toyota Is In the Plan to Make a Moon Rover

Toyota and JAXA are eyeing the rover for future manned missions to the moon where mobility is critical.

The original manned moon rover was the Boeing LRV (Lunar Roving Vehicle), which was used during the Apollo space missions in the early 1970s.

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.

The vehicle will run on solar power and Toyota's fuel cell technology. "I am extremely happy that, for this project, expectations have been placed on the thus-far developed durability and driving performance of Toyota vehicles and on our fuel cell environmental technologies".

President of JAXA, Hiroshi Yamakawa said that Toyota joining its mission strengthens the agency's confidence in such a rover.

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But first, it will need the technology to support them. 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 Toyota Moon Rover Concept for JAXA measures in at 6.0-metres long, 5.2-metres wide and 3.8-metres tall, which is around the size of two microbuses combined. It's claimed that such a rover could roam on the surface of the moon of over 10,000 kilometres. The rover promises a lunar cruising range of 10,000km.

Sending humans back to the Moon is something that NASA and a number of other space agencies around the world are now working towards.

Astronauts would be able to ride in the vehicle without their space suits on, while still having enough room for them to get in and out while wearing the bulky outfits. However, Toyota claims that the Moon Rover will able to fit four people in case of an emergency. Through our joint studies going forward, we would like to put to use Toyota's excellent technological abilities related to mobility, and we look forward to the acceleration of our technological studies for the realization of a manned, pressurized rover.

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