The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Toyota Motor Corporation have announced their agreement to consider the possibility of collaborating on international space exploration.
As a first step, JAXA and Toyota have reached agreement to further cooperate on and accelerate their ongoing joint study of a manned, pressurized rover that employs fuel cell electric vehicle technologies.
Such a form of mobility is deemed necessary for human exploration activities on the lunar surface.
Even with the limited amount of energy that can be transported to the moon, the pressurised rover would have a total lunar-surface cruising range of more than 10,000 km.
International space exploration, aiming to achieve sustainable prosperity for all of humankind by expanding the domain of human activity and giving rise to intellectual properties, has its sights set on the moon and Mars.
To achieve the goals of such exploration, coordination between robotic missions, such as the recent successful touchdown by the asteroid probe Hayabusa on the asteroid Ryugu, and human missions, such as those involving humans using pressurised rovers to conduct activities on the moon, is essential.
When it comes to challenging missions such as lunar or Martian exploration, various countries are competing in advancing their technologies, while also advancing their cooperative efforts.
JAXA President Hiroshi Yamakawa said: “At JAXA, we are pursuing international coordination and technological studies toward Japan’s participation in international space exploration.
“We aim to contribute through leading Japanese technologies that can potentially generate spin-off benefits. Having Toyota join us in the challenge of international space exploration greatly strengthens our confidence.
“Through our joint studies going forward, we would like to put to use Toyota’s excellent technological abilities related to mobility, and we look forward to the acceleration of our technological studies for the realisation of a manned, pressurised rover.”