"We aim to contribute through leading Japanese technologies that can potentially generate spin-off benefits", JAXA President Hiroshi Yamakawa said in a prepared statement.
The automaker's fuel cells use clean power-generation methods and only emit water and have reduced amounts of harmful substances that the auto company is working to improve, Toyota Executive Vice President Shigeki Terashi said Tuesday.
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".
The vehicle, which is expected to make its debut in 2029, is expected to have six wheels and be capable of transporting two humans (four in an emergency) a distance of 10,000 using solar power as well as fuel-cell technology being developed by Toyota. As part of this, both the organisations will first work towards the development of a lunar rover.
Safety is a major concern for Toyota, so the automaker will pay careful attention to details to ensure any human astronaut returns safely from the lunar rover, to the vessel, and back to Earth. However, unlike modern electric vehicles, Toyota claims the Moon Rover will be able to cover more than 10,000 kilometres of the Lunar surface on a single charge.
The rover "will be an important element supporting human lunar exploration, which we envision will take place in the 2030s", JAXA Vice President Koichi Wakata told a symposium in Tokyo. For this, we would like to concentrate our country's technological abilities and conduct technological studies. The company has been studying the possibility of making the rover since last summer, but it signed a new agreement this week to accelerate the project with JAXA, Japan's space agency. And I think that coming back alive is exactly what is needed in this project.
Toyota Motor Corp. said Tuesday it will jointly develop a rover to be sent to the moon in 2029, amid fierce global competition to explore Earth's natural satellite. In total, four expeditions are now planned that require use of the rover to traverse the Moon's surface.