Published: Thu, March 14, 2019
Sci-tech | By April Francis

Toyota prepares to go into space

Toyota prepares to go into space

A manned, pressurized lunar rover planned by Toyota Motor Corp. and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will have a range of more than 10,000 kilometers.

The rover would be able to travel more than 10,000 km on the moon, letting Japan's astronauts explore the lunar surface. "We aim at launching such a rover into space in 2029", he added.

The concept in the above video shows a six-wheeled vehicle that pays tribute to Toyota's Land Cruiser heritage, with a pair of round headlights at the front which are surrounded by an elongated version of the old Land Cruiser's grille bezel with TOYOTA lettering.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) have announced that they will be studying the possibility of a collaboration on worldwide space exploration. The rover is aimed at aiding human exploration of the moon. "However, from now on, in responding to such matters as environmental issues of global scale, the concept of "home planet", from which all of us come, will become a very important concept", Toyota President Akio Toyoda said.

The rover, which is expected to be 6 meters long, 5.2 meters wide and 3.8 meters high, will feature Toyota's fuel cell technology.

"At JAXA, we are studying various scenarios as well as technologies that will be applied to specific space missions", JAXA Vice President Koichi Wakata said at the event, according to a press release. And I think that coming back alive is exactly what is needed in this project.

The use of fuel cells allows the rover to travel over a great distance on the lunar surface as well as maintain mobility that's necessary in exploring the moon.

Lunar gravity is one-sixth of that on Earth.

During a symposium on Tuesday, March 12 in Tokyo, Toyota executive vice president Shigeki Terashi expresses his excitement at the automotive company's new project and explains the value of state-of-the-art fuel cell technology. Meanwhile, the moon has a complex terrain with craters, cliffs, and hills. Toyota's "space mobility" concept meets such mission requirements. In total, four expeditions are now planned that require use of the rover to traverse the Moon's surface.

Toyota wants to take its vehicles to the moon.

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