We believe that to move is human instinct, and when we are free to move, anything is possible. But the JAXA rover project has a serious role in achieving sustainable prosperity and extending the reach of human activity. In space exploration, collaborations are essential and JAXA say their confidence is strengthened by “the proven durability and driving performance of Toyota vehicles” and our fuel cell environmental technologies.
A lunar vehicle faces many new challenges. Lunar gravity is one-sixth of that on Earth and the moon has a complex terrain with craters, cliffs, and hills. It is exposed to radiation and temperature conditions far harsher than those on Earth, as well as an ultra-high vacuum environment. Toyota’s ‘space mobility’ concept meets such requirements.
As well as our engineering, the JAXA rover is a great test of - and accolade for - Toyota’s Hydrogen technology.
“Fuel cells, which use clean power-generation methods, emit only water, and, because of their high energy density, can provide a lot of energy, making them especially suited for the project being discussed with JAXA.” Shigeki Terashi, Toyota Executive Vice President
Toyota has long been planning a sustainable mobility society on Earth involving a mix of electrified vehicles and fuel cell vehicles. To the Japanese Space Agency these have even greater potential due to their ability to emit less harmful substances, such as particulate matter, than the air taken in. This so-called ‘minus emissions’ characteristic is one the programme is keen to further improve on.