Will Toyota soon explore the moon with its own vehicles?
Author: Mario Schmidtgen
Cooperation with Japanese Space Agency JAXA
Together with the Japanese space agency JAXA, Toyota now wants to start a new era in space research. The first project is a manned fuel cell vehicle with which it should be possible to explore foreign planets.
The concept vehicle is about six meters long and will provide space for about four astronauts. The mobile space station can be operated both manually and from Earth, but autonomous control is also possible. In combination with an efficient fuel cell propulsion system, the rover will have a range of up to 10,000 kilometers.
“At JAXA, we support international coordination and technological studies on Japan’s participation in international space research,” said JAXA President Hiroshi Yamakawa. “Our goal is to contribute and create potential benefits through leading Japanese technologies. The fact that Toyota is joining us in international space research strengthens our confidence enormously. Pressurized manned rovers play an important role in the full exploration and utilization of the lunar surface”.
“The automotive industry has focused for a long time on the concepts of ‘home city’ and ‘home country’. But the ‘home planet’ from which we all come is becoming a very important concept when it comes to environmental issues with a global dimension,” says Toyota President Akio Toyota.
“Our industry, which is constantly thinking about its own role, shares the same ambitions as international space research. In addition, cars are used in all regions of the world, and in some regions cars play an active role as partners to ensure that people get mobile again. I think this revival is exactly what is needed in this project.”
For some time now, space research has concentrated primarily on the Moon and Mars. In addition to the exploration of the planets with robots, a visit by manned missions of experts is also in focus.