Toyota Is Building Japan's Fuel Cell-Powered Moon Rover

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President of JAXA, Hiroshi Yamakawa said that Toyota joining its mission strengthens the agency's confidence in such a rover.

The rover, which is expected to be 6 meters long, 5.2 meters wide and 3.8 meters high, will feature Toyota's fuel cell technology.

Speaking about the Moon Rover, Toyota President Akio Toyoda said, "The automotive industry has long done business with the concepts of "hometown" and "home country" largely in mind".

JAXA and Toyota said March 12 that they plan to send the pressurized, fuel cell-powered vehicle to the moon in 2029 and hope that a Japanese astronaut will use it to lead a lunar mission.

The concept in the above video shows a six-wheeled vehicle that pays tribute to Toyota's Land Cruiser heritage, with a pair of round headlights at the front which are surrounded by an elongated version of the old Land Cruiser's grille bezel with TOYOTA lettering.

With recent space exploration from China and developments for SpaceX in the United States of America, the space race is again hotting up with nations striving to explore further and spend extended times in space and on the surface of the moon.

Toyota, JAXA to develop manned moon probe

The vehicle will be able to carry two people and travel thousands of miles across the moon's surface, the company announced this week.

The agreement is meant to promote Japanese technological knowhow. Even with the limited amount of energy that can be transported to the moon, the pressurized rover would have a total lunar-surface cruising range of more than 10,000 km.

"Going beyond the frameworks of countries or regions, I believe that our industry, which is constantly thinking about the role it should fulfill, shares the same aspirations of global space exploration", Toyoda added.

Toyota's next challenge is out of this world.

JAXA believes it will have the ability to launch the lunar rover into space come 2029, and more manned missions will come throughout the 2030s. And I think that coming back alive is exactly what is needed in this project.

In the future, Toyota and JAXA will conduct joint studies with the latter exercising the automaker's technology know-how to accelerate the development of a pressurized lunar rover.

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