Toyota and Japan’s space agency will team up to develop a manned lunar rover, the Reuters reported. The announcement was made public on Tuesday.
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) stated that the rover that operates on fuel cell technologies could contribute towards an international space probe program in the future, eventhough currently Japan doesn’t intend to develop a rocket for human spaceflight.
According to a spokesperson for Toyota, the company is looking to increase the production of fuel-cell cars as a zero-emission alternative to petrol and therefore, the new project would pave the way for the company to further improve its technologies by testing them in the moon’s harsh environment.
In a conference, Koichi Wakata, VP of JAXA stated that the rover will be a major boost towards human lunar exploration, which the company predicts to take place in the 2030s.
Although the new rover is in the conceptual stage, reports have revealed that its looks somewhat looked like an armored personnel carrier; a six-wheeled vehicle.
“As an engineer, there is no greater joy than being able to participate in a lunar project by way of Toyota’s car-making,” Shigeki Terashi, VP of Toyota said in the conference.
It looks like Mr. Terashi is very much excited about the new space project. Toyota is ready to take up the challenge as it is a member of ‘Team Japan’.
The new manned lunar rover mission is a major boost for both Toyota and JAXA.