Toyota, JAXA plan manned rover for lunar explorations:The Asahi Shimbun

14 March, 2019, 01:12 | Author: Bridget Leonard
  • Toyota, JAXA to develop manned moon probe

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.

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency taps Toyota to join them in making human exploration of the moon a reality.

"Going beyond the frameworks of countries or regions, I believe that our industry, which is constantly thinking about the role it should fulfill, shares the same aspirations of worldwide space exploration", Toyoda added.

Toyota and JAXA are already conducting a joint study on a manned rover, which employs fuel cell technology.

The automaker's fuel cells use clean power-generation methods and only emit water and have reduced amounts of harmful substances that the auto company is working to improve, Toyota Executive Vice President Shigeki Terashi said Tuesday. The new agreement is meant to showcase Japanese technological know-how.


The rover will examine the lunar surface during the daytime and return to a space craft at night for fuel supplies, Toyota and JAXA said.

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.

The announcement also came with photos and videos of Toyota's proposed lunar rover. And I think that coming back alive is exactly what is needed in this project. "Manned rovers with pressurised cabins are an element that will play an important role in fully fledged exploration and use of the lunar surface".

JAXA believes it will have the ability to launch the lunar rover into space come 2029, and more manned missions will come throughout the 2030s. Toyota's "space mobility" concept meets such mission requirements.

Toyota's next challenge is out of this world. Going forward, we want to utilize Toyota's and JAXA's technologies, human resources, and knowledge, among others, to continuously solve those issues. Through our collaboration with Toyota as the starting point, we can further expand the resources of "Team Japan" in the continued pursuit of global space exploration.

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