Japanese space agency, Toyota to speed moon vehicle project

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-14 11:49:20|Editor: Xiang Bo
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TOKYO, March 14 (Xinhua) -- The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has announced that it would accelerate cooperation with Toyota Motor Corp. to build a lunar rover.

"JAXA and Toyota agreed to further cooperate on and accelerate their ongoing joint study of a manned, pressurized rover that employs fuel cell vehicle technologies," the agency said in a statement on Tuesday.

The fuel cell technology refers to Toyota's clean power-generation batteries used within electrified vehicles.

JAXA President Hiroshi Yamakawa expressed the hope that Toyota's mobility technologies could be of great help to the technological studies for the realization of the rover.

Toyota's Executive Vice President Shigeki Terashi said the company's other technologies such as automated driving could also contribute to the rover project.

The rover is designed to be 6 meters long, 5.2 meters wide and 3.8 meters high, capable of accommodating two to four people.

It would be used to explore the lunar surface, with a total cruising range of more than 10,000 km.

According to JAXA, the rover is expected to be launched in 2029, while the human lunar exploration will take place in the 2030s.

Toyota has been involved in JAXA's rover project since May of 2018.