Toyota’s Lunar Rover Will Allow Humans To Drive On The Moon Again

Japan has the ambition of sending humans to the moon and Toyota wants to help with that.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Toyota Motor Corporation have announced an agreement “to consider the possibility of collaborating on international space exploration.” As a first step, JAXA and Toyota have agreed to cooperate on building a manned, pressurized rover for lunar exploration that uses a fuel cell electric powertrain.

Even with the limited amount of energy that can be transported to the moon, the technology would give the rover a total lunar-surface cruising range of more than 10,000 km (6,213 miles).

According to JAXA Vice President Koichi Wakata, the agency plans to launch such a rover into space in 2029, with lunar exploration missions expected to take place in the 2030s. “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,” Mr. Wakata said.

The pressurized lunar rover will have to deal with extreme conditions on the moon, where gravity is one-sixth of that on Earth and the terrain consists of craters, cliffs, and hills. Furthermore, it will have to withstand radiation and temperature conditions that are much harsher than those on Earth, as well as an ultra-high vacuum environment.

The only details released about the space mobility concept regard its size. It’s 6 meters (236.2 inches) long and 3.8 meters (149.6 inches) high, offering a living space of 13 cubic meters (459.1 cubic feet). It’s designed to accommodate two people on a regular basis and four people in emergency situations. We can also see that it has six wheels, all of which are probably driven.

“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,” commented Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda.

 

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  • Mike anonymous

    “Toyota’s Lunar Rover Will Allow Humans To Drive On The Moon Again”

    If you don’t mind me asking but,.. what changed that couldn’t allow us to drive on the moon as we did before?

    • Perry F. Bruns

      The previous rovers’ batteries died, and roadside assistance is cheaper with Toyota.

    • Ary Wisesa

      Did they really walked on the moon before?

      • Mike anonymous

        Yes they did. Some people think they faked it (and there is proof that they did faked some parts of it), and some believe they went there (and there IS also proof that they did go).

        I my personal opinion, they DID go there (but… had seen things they clearly didn’t want anyone else seeing, so since it would cost so much money to go back they likely added the fake clips with the real ones,.. possibly hoping no one would notice).

  • Harry_Wild

    Only humans, no aliens! Ripley will like that! This is only for driving around the moon too. Toyota should think about an all terrain model for use on multiple planets. Sort of limited purpose vehicle shown here.

  • Carparral

    Uh… why it needs rear lamps?

  • Knotmyrealname

    The Earth doesn’t ‘rise’ on the moon. It just spins away in the distance.

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  • CBV2020

    I want ONE!!! Just remove the dish.

  • Alduin

    Why not make it nuclear powered so it can run for years? Once the fuel cell is depleted do they plan on replacing it for the vehicle or just leaving it on the moon to rot?

    • Mike anonymous

      I mean that is a great idea… but what happens if an asteroid or small object collides with the nuclear powered rover.

      It similar to why many of the nuclear powered car concepts (from the 1950s’ & 1960s’) were not really brought to mass market. A Single car accident could wipe out half a city.

      • Alduin

        The odds of that ever happening are like a billion to one.

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