Toyota Develops Lunar Cruiser:
Japan-based automotive giant Toyota is developing a new exploration vehicle to be used on the lunar surface in partnership with the Japanese Space Research Agency (JAXA). The reconnaissance vehicle is expected to be sent to the Moon at the end of the 2020s and conduct research here.
Toyota, one of the largest automotive companies in the world, cooperated with the Japanese Space Research Agency (JAXA) for the future of space exploration. In this context, the spacecraft “Lunar Cruiser” jointly developed by Toyota and JAXA was introduced in August.
Toyota and JAXA announced their first partnership for space exploration in March last year. JAXA President Hiroshi Yamakawa said the partnership will play an important role in the full-fledged exploration of the lunar surface of manned mobile vehicles.
The vehicle will be sent to the Moon at the end of the 2020s:
Toyota and JAXA, which announced the traveling concept design in August, will continue to produce test pieces throughout the rest of 2020. Referring to Toyota’s Land Cruiser model, the Lunar Cruiser vehicle is planned to be sent to the Moon at the end of the 2020s and make a smooth exploration of the difficult lunar surface.
The concept vehicle, which is about the size of two minibusses, contains a 13-square-meter living space that can accommodate two people. Designed for astronauts to safely remove their clothes inside, the vehicle will be able to travel on the lunar surface for 6 weeks.
In the first mission, the vehicle aimed to travel 10 thousand kilometers on the lunar surface in 42 days. Toyota plans to use a new generation fuel tank that can travel about 1000 kilometers with a tank on this journey.
Since days and nights last about two weeks on the Moon, the vehicle will also have solar panels. This energy will be stored for later use due to the long night. The vehicle will also include automotive driving functions for safety.
The Lunar Cruiser spacecraft, developed by the joint venture of Toyota and JAXA, is planned to be sent to the Moon in 2029. During this period, the development phase of the vehicle will continue and will pass many tests. These tests include things like the use of simulations, the use of virtual reality, and the performance of heat dissipation while driving.