Raumfahrt - Toyota, JAXA ink 3-yr pact over plan to send rover to Moon in 2029


Toyota, JAXA ink 3-yr pact over plan to send rover to Moon in 2029


Under the agreement covering the period through March 2022, Toyota and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will develop, manufacture and test a prototype rover capable of running on the surface of the Moon using fuel cell power.


Toyota and JAXA first unveiled the project in March this year. They said the rover would enable astronauts to live inside it for a certain amount of time without wearing space suits, the first such development in the world.


Following testing of the prototype rover, Toyota and JAXA will start designing the actual flight model from 2024, and commence its manufacturing and testing from 2027, they said.


JAXA plans to send the rover to the Moon on an American rocket in 2029 amid growing international competition in lunar exploration.

Quelle: The Mainichi


Update: 30.08.2020


Toyota Land Cruiser inspires Japan's upcoming moon rover

It's called the Lunar Cruiser as a direct link to one of Toyota's longest running models, known for its durability.


Meet the Lunar Cruiser.


Toyota and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency plan to reach the moon with a manned rover before the end of the decade. With the automaker's fuel cell techonboard, Toyota decided to draw a link between space and Earth with the rover's official name. JAXA and Toyota on Friday announced the manned vehicle will be named the Lunar Cruiser.

The name directly recalls the Toyota Land Cruiser, which first entered production in 1951. In the announcement, the automaker said it based the decision on the "quality, durability and reliability" the Land Cruiser provided in the past, and still offers. The characteristics are especially crucial as Toyota and JAXA continue development. The Lunar Cruiser needs to keep astronauts safe as it roams the moon's surface.

With a name in place, work continues between the automaker and space agency. They announced their cooperation last year, with plans to launch the Lunar Cruiser in the latter half of this decade. Today, the Toyota and JAXA teams continue to hash out technologies and test various elements to ensure everything will go right when the time comes to launch into space. Part of the process will be to show off a prototype vehicle when the time is right.



JAXA and Toyota Announce “LUNAR CRUISER” As
Nickname for Manned Pressurized Rover

National Research & Development Agency
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
Toyota Motor Corporation

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) announced today that they have named the manned pressurized rover which is currently under joint research by JAXA and Toyota the “LUNAR CRUISER” as “nickname”. JAXA and Toyota previously announced and have been conducting joint research on a manned, pressurized lunar rover that uses fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) technologies.

The nickname LUNAR CRUISER was chosen because of the familiar feeling it offers the people involved in the development and manufacture of the vehicle prototype as part of the joint research project as well as the familiarity it will provide the general public. The name, which references the Toyota Land Cruiser SUV, was decided upon based on the quality, durability, and reliability expected of the pressurized lunar rover, and the concept that Toyota has long held to for the Land Cruiser, which was for people to “come back alive,” especially true for the lunar rover as it will be traversing the harsh environment of the moon’s surface.

JAXA and Toyota signed a joint research agreement to work on a manned pressurized lunar rover last year, on June 13, 2019, with an expected launch date in the latter half of the 2020s. Together, they are working to manufacture test parts for each technological element, and the prototype rover itself, during this fiscal year (FY2020). The work involves the use of simulations to confirm power and heat dissipation performance while driving, the manufacture and assessment of prototype tires, and the use of virtual reality and full-scale models to consider the layout of equipment in the cabin of the LUNAR CRUISER.

Furthermore, as part of their efforts to create new partners with “Team Japan,” JAXA and Toyota have been discussing laterally with a variety of industries via study meetings based on the theme of “a lunar society pioneered by the manned pressurized rover” (also known as Team Japan Study Meeting)*. The meetings focus on how the manned pressurized rover becomes the starting point of a vision of a future lunar surface-based society while discussing the challenges associated with the creation of this type of society.

JAXA and Toyota will gather the knowledge, experience and technological capabilities of enterprises from across a variety of industries in their attempt to realize their dream of sustaining continuous activities on the surface of the moon as “Team Japan,” moving forward.

* The Team Japan Working Group, led by JAXA, Toyota and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., was launched in August 2019. Three working groups and one session on the co-creation of a lunar society have been held to date, with about 100 companies registered.

Quelle: JAXA

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