Science

Toyota Is Building A Lunar Rover with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

jaxa toyota lunar rover

Rover fans are getting another gorgeous vehicle to admire.

Toyota just announced it struck a deal with JAXA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, to build a lunar rover.

The vehicle, which will employ fuel cell electric vehicle technologies, will have a total lunar-surface cruising range of more than 10,000 km.

“Fuel cells, which use clean power-generation methods, emit only water, and, because of their high energy density, they can provide a lot of energy, making them especially suited for the project being discussed with JAXA,” said Shigeki Terashi, Toyota’s Executive Vice President.

To solve the issue of power consumption, Toyota also presented in the video a vehicle outfitted with an expandable solar panel.

jaxa toyota lunar rover solar panel

A joint collaboration of more than a year between JAXA and Toyota culminated in this concept proposal, which features a lunar rover “about the size of two microbuses,” with 13 square meters of living space for two people (or four, in case of an emergency).

“Lunar gravity is one-sixth of that on Earth. Meanwhile, the moon has a complex terrain with craters, cliffs, and hills.

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.

For wide ranging human exploration of the moon, a pressurized rover that can travel more than 10,000 km in such environments is a necessity.

Toyota’s ‘space mobility’ concept meets such mission requirements,” commented JAXA’s Vice President, Koichi Wakata.

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