JAXA, Toyota to develop manned lunar rover

13 March, 2019, 19:12 | Author: Darnell Taylor
  • Toyota Is In the Plan to Make a Moon Rover

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) are considering the possibility of further collaborating on global space exploration. It seems likely that total will grow if the fuel cell continues to be topped up using solar energy.

The moon rover is said to be pressurised to allow the astronauts on-board to live and work without having to constantly wear their space suits. Toyota and JAXA have been jointly studying the concept of a manned, pressurized rover since May of 2018. "Fuel cells, which use clean power-generation methods, emit only water, and, due to their high energy density, they can provide a lot of energy, making them especially ideal for the project being discussed with JAXA", said Toyota Executive Vice President Terashi. Manned rovers with pressurized cabins are an element that will play an important role in full-fledged exploration and use of the lunar surface.

"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.

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Toyota's concept vehicle, revealed in a new video and series of images today, will be created to hold two astronauts and runs on solar power and fuel cell technology.

The pressurized vehicle proposed this week by Toyota is six meters long and 3.8 meters high - or, about the size of two microbuses, the auto company says. 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. In total, four expeditions are now planned that require use of the rover to traverse the Moon's surface. The 13m² cabin will house two astronauts, and the solar-fuel-cell vehicle is created to have a 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. However, Toyota claims that the Moon Rover will able to fit four people in case of an emergency.

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