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Toyota working closely with JAXA to develop manned lunar rover
Toyota to take its technology beyond Earth's orbit.
Japanese carmaker Toyota has put forward its plans to produce manned lunar rover on the Moon in 2029. The company will be working closely with Japan's space agency Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) for the mission. The vehicle will be capable of carrying two astronauts allowing them to stay inside it without having to wear their spacesuits.
However, the rover is still in a concept phase but is said to measure around 6 meters in length, 5.2 meters in width, and 3.8 meters tall. The biggest concern for the Japanese carmaker would be developing a fuel technology that would allow the rover to travel miles on Earth's natural satellite. If the reports are to be believed, the rover will have a range of 10,000 kilometers.
The development of the rover will be hastened and will be aimed to aid human exploration of the Moon. The first manned missions to the Moon are said expected to commence in the 2030s, while JAXA is aiming to launch the rover a year before the missions kick off.
Recently, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft has also observed a few signs of water on the Moon, which could be really helpful and encouraging for the space agency's plans to send astronauts to the lunar surface again.
"The study is an important step in advancing the water story on the Moon and is a result of years of accumulated data from the LRO mission," said John Keller, LRO deputy project scientist from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre.