Japanese carmaker Toyota has announced plans to have a manned lunar rover on the moon in the year 2029. The company is partnering with Japan’s space agency Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) for the mission. The lunar rover will be able to carry two astronauts, who will then be able to live in it without having to wear spacesuits.
The vehicle is still a concept, but is expected to be about 6 meters long, 5.2 meters wide and a height of 3.8 meters. Toyota is considering the fuel cell technology for the lunar rover, which will allow it to travel thousands of miles across the moon’s surface. The fuel cell technology could be handy for the electric rover, since rovers sent into space are not expected to be very kinetic. The cabin is 13 cubic meter in size.
“The automotive industry has long done business with the concepts of ‘hometown’ and ‘home country’ largely in mind. However, from now on, in responding to such matters as environmental issues of global scale, the concept of ‘home planet’, from which all of us come, will become a very important concept. 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 international space exploration. Furthermore, cars are used in all of Earth’s regions, and, in some regions, cars play active roles as partners for making sure that people come back alive,” says Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota in an official statement.
It is expected that the rover will have a range of around 10,000 kilometers.