Toyota and Japan’s Space Agency Agree To Develop Advanced Lunar Rover
July 24, 2019 (EIRNS)—Toyota Motors and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) signed on July 16 a three-year agreement to jointly develop an advanced pressurized lunar rover, which will incorporate fuel-cell electric-vehicle technologies.
“Over the course of the three-year joint research period, JAXA and Toyota will manufacture, test and evaluate prototypes, with the goal of developing a manned, pressurized lunar rover and exploring the surface of the Moon as part of an international project,”
Toyota stated in a press release.
Unlike NASA’s 1970s Apollo Moon buggies, this vehicle will be pressurized so astronauts won’t need to wear oxygen-supplying spacesuits when tooling around the lunar surface. It will be powered by “fuel cell electric vehicle technologies.”
According to Space.com, “The rover will be used for missions to explore the Moon’s polar regions, with the aim both of investigating the possibility of using the Moon’s resources—such as frozen water—and of acquiring technologies that enable exploration of the surfaces of massive heavenly bodies.”
Japan has significant abilities as a spacefaring nation. In September 2007, it launched its Kaguya lunar orbiter spacecraft, which orbitted the Moon for 21 months, before it was ordered to crash into the Moon’s surface. In April 2019, Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft detonated a crater in an asteroid, and then in July, landed on the asteroid to extract rock samples to take back to earth for scientific investigation.
India is now considering teaming up with Japan for a lunar mission in 2025, Mashable India website reports, “After Chandrayaan-2, India might take a third shot at the Moon with another sequel lunar mission, Chandrayaan-3. Indian Space Research Organization is looking to rope in the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in its third trip to the Moon that is scheduled in 2025 and aims to collect lunar soil and rock samples from the South Pole of the Moon.”
Thus, six nations or entities have advanced space technologies with planned lunar missions on the books: China, Russia, the United States, India, the European Union, and not least, Japan. It is all the more necessary for a “unified space alliance,” for the Moon and Mars, as proposed by Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, which Helga Zepp-LaRouche champions.