Japan might get an awesome new Moon rover built by Toyota

JAXA and Toyota team for a crewed pressurized moon rover

JAXA and Toyota team for a crewed pressurized moon rover

Toyota's announcement of the agreement is somewhat vague in its language, noting that the company and JAXA now have an agreement to "consider the possibility of collaborating on worldwide space exploration".

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.

Toyota has revealed the autonomous rover it could soon send to the moon.

The carmaker is working with the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency to build a pressurized rover for exploring the moon.

"Having Toyota join us in the challenge of global space exploration greatly strengthens our confidence", Hiroshi Yamakawa, JAXA's president, said in the release. Instead of a family sedan, the vehicle manufacturer is making a pressurized self-driving rover to cruise the lunar surface.

Today, Toyota announced a somewhat vague agreement with JAXA that could result in a revolutionary lunar rover. Toyota is touting the fuel cell technology and the 10,000-mile range of the rover.

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But first, it will need the technology to support them. The 13m² cabin will house two astronauts, and the solar-fuel-cell vehicle is created to have a range of 10,000km.

The proposed rover would be "about the size of two microbuses" or about 19.6 feet long, 17 feet wide and 12.4 feet tall, according to the dimensions in the release.

The vehicle will be sent separately from the humans that will ride in it and will meet the astronauts once they arrive on the moon.

Running on a fuel cell, the lunar vehicle will only emit water and surplus air.

The space agency is hoping to launch a rover by 2029, with human exploration missions to follow not long after.

'Thus far, our joint study, has examined a preliminary concept for a manned, pressurized rover system, and we have identified the technological issues that must be solved, ' Wakata said.

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