Toyota and Jaxa’s hydrogen-powered lunar rover selected by NASA

Toyota hydrogen rover
Toyota and Jaxa’s hydrogen lunar rover selected by NASA

As part of their diplomatic relations, the United States and Japan have decided to collaborate more closely in the space field. This involves the upcoming hydrogen rover project by Toyota, as well as sending two Japanese astronauts to the moon.

The announcement made headline. President Joe Biden himself announced on April 10 that:” two Japanese astronauts will join future American missions, and one will become the first non-American ever to land on the Moon.”Japanese Prime Minister, Kishida Fumio, was present at the ceremony. The two countries had already signed an agreement in January 2023 covering cooperation on the moon and other celestial bodies.

Agreement with NASA on a pressurised hydrogen rover

What is less well known is that another agreement was signed on the same day between NASA Administrator Bill Nelson and Japan’s Minister of Science and Technology, Masahito Moriyama. This one refers to the pressurised lunar rover that JAXA (the Japanese equivalent of NASA) is studying with Toyota. The aim is to link it to the Artemis mission with NASA.

Referred to as a PR (pressurised rover), this vehicle will have a hermetically sealed cabin with a volume and functions that will enable astronauts to stay for a certain period of time without a space suit, to enter and exit the vehicle wearing a suit and to move around without polluting the lunar surface. It can be piloted by an astronaut, or remotely in autonomous mode.

Toyota calls it the “Lunar Cruiser” (in reference to the Land Cruiser). A hydrogen-powered rover thats will serve as a great showcase for the carmaker. It should also be enough to annoy Elon Musk, the head of Space X and Tesla.

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Article written by Laurent Meillaud and translated by Mariem Ben Tili

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About the author

Laurent Meillaud

Laurent Meillaud

Freelance automotive journalist and consultant, author as well, focused on technologies and new trends for more than 30 years, convinced that hydrogen is one of the energies for the future.

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