The Japanese multinational automotive manufacturer, Toyota has recently signed a deal with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency in order to possibly work together on international space exploration. Toyota is, in fact, planning to launch a new minivan into space. The lunar rover will actually be bigger than a minivan. In fact, it is planned to be under 20 feet long, 17 feet wide and 12 feet tall.
The new lunar rover will be able to accommodate two lunar explorers or four people in an emergency situation. The Japanese automotive manufacturer will work closely with JAXA to move their ongoing joint study faster. The study is about a manned, pressurized rover which would run on fuel cell technology.
Toyota decided to work together with Japan’s space agency and develop a vehicle that humans could drive on the moon. They believe that in order to further the human species, space exploration is one of the most crucial things. Plus, the company wants to be at the forefront of any future space race.
Both, Toyota and JAXA share the same aspirations of international space exploration. However, instead of opting for rockets and spaceships, Toyota decided to focus on lunar and Martian terrestrial concepts.
The new lunar rover concept will come with features ready for space. It will be made suitable for the extreme temperature fluctuations, the radiation, and the intense vacuum pressure.
The Toyota lunar rover will also feature a hydrogen fuel cell electric powertrain. Due to a theoretical range of 10,000 km, this rover will be able to circle the entire moon. The big solar panels will provide the necessary power to this rover. For now, it is unclear how the rover will get to space.
The new lunar rover is planned and expected to be launched into space by 2029. Most importantly, the technologies which will be used on this lunar rover will definitely come in handy for the Earth and getting read of the fossil fuels.