Hot topics

Toyota wants to put an autonomous, habitable vehicle on the Moon

© Toyota

Read in other languages:

After Tintin on the Moon, it's Toyota's turn! The Japanese car manufacturer has announced the signing of a partnership with the Japanese Space Exploration Agency (JAXA). The objective? Send an autonomous and habitable vehicle to the Moon.

Space is still fascinating, and car manufacturers are still interested in this conquest. After Elon Musk and his Tesla roadster launched on February 6th aboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket, Toyota wants to design a lunar rover. Japan is considering a moon landing in 2029 and would like its astronauts to discover the moon in a 100% Japanese vehicle. It is therefore not surprising that Toyota has partnered with the Japanese Space Agency.

Autonomous and habitable

As Forbes explains, the vehicle designed must comply with fairly strict specifications. In addition to being autonomous, the car must be able to survey the uneven surface of the Moon while withstanding particularly harsh weather conditions. Temperature changes are indeed violent and sunlight is an important parameter to take into account in the design of the vehicle, as the gravity much lower.

"The vehicle is exposed to radiation and temperature conditions that are much harsher than those on Earth, as well as an ultra-high vacuum environment," explained Koichi Wakata, Vice President of JAXA.

Above all, the lunar rover that Toyota will have to come up with will have to provide a range of 10,000 kilometers. "For a wide-ranging human exploration of the moon, a pressurized rover that can travel more than 10,000 km in such environments is a necessity."

In order to obtain such a result, it is obviously not a question of giant batteries but of a fuel cell.The car operates on the basis of the reaction between the hydrogen stored in its tank and the oxygen received from outside. This reaction generates energy that then powers its electric motor. Finally, Toyota's vehicle (6 x 5.2 x 3.8 m) should offer a pressurized cabin in which two to four astronauts could be housed.

Horizon 2029

This new lunar rover made in Toyota should be sent in 2029. "We aim at launching such a rover into space in 2029, and these vehicles," Wakata said. "Manned, pressurized rovers will be an important element supporting human lunar exploration, which we envision will take place in the 2030s."

What do you think of this vehicle? Let us know.

Source: Toyota

The best Samsung Galaxy phones compared

  Best flagship Best all-rounder Best foldable Best compact foldable Best midrange model Best budget model
Device Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy S23
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
Samsung Galaxy A54
Samsung Galaxy A34
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review
Samsung Galaxy S23 review
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 review
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 review
Samsung Galaxy A54 review
Samsung Galaxy A34 review
Check offer*
Go to comment (0)
Pierre Vitré

Pierre Vitré
Head of Content

Pierre has a strong passion for new technologies and mobile since its first StarTac. Android user since 2011, Pierre became totally hooked. He never leaves his smartphone and smartwatch and still believes in the success of Google Glass. That's why he joined to be the head of content.

To the author profile
Liked this article? Share now!
Recommended articles
Latest articles
Push notification Next article
No comments
Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing
Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing