JAXA and Toyota Reach Agreement on Taking Up the Challenge of International Space Exploration


March 12, 2019 (JST)

Tokyo, Japan, March 12, 2019-The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency 
(JAXA) and Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) agreed today to study 
the possibility of collaborating on international space exploration.

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As a first step, JAXA and Toyota agreed to further cooperate on and 
accelerate their ongoing joint study of a manned, pressurized rover 
that employs fuel cell vehicle technologies.
Such a form of mobility is deemed necessary for human exploration 
activities on the lunar surface.
Even with the limited amount of energy that can be transported to 
the moon, the pressurized rover would have a total lunar-surface 
cruising range of more than 10,000 km.

International space exploration, aiming to achieve sustainable 
prosperity for all of humankind by expanding the domain of human 
activity and giving rise to intellectual properties, has its sights 
set on the moon and Mars.
To achieve the goals of such exploration, coordination between 
unmanned missions, such as the recent successful touchdown by the 
asteroid probe Hayabusa2 on the asteroid Ryugu, and manned missions, 
such as those involving humans using pressurized rovers to conduct 
activities on the moon, is essential.
When it comes to challenging missions such as lunar or Martian 
exploration, while various countries are competing in advancing 
their technologies, they are also advancing their cooperative efforts.

JAXA President Hiroshi Yamakawa had this to say today about the 
agreement between JAXA and Toyota:
“At JAXA, we are pursuing international coordination and 
technological studies toward Japan’s participation in international 
space exploration.
We aim to contribute through leading Japanese technologies that can 
potentially generate spin-off benefits.
Having Toyota join us in the challenge of international space 
exploration greatly strengthens our confidence.
Manned rovers with pressurized cabins are an element that will play 
an important role in full-fledged exploration and use of the lunar 
surface.
For this, we would like to concentrate our country’s technological 
abilities and conduct technological studies.
Through our joint studies going forward, we would like to put to 
use Toyota’s excellent technological abilities related to mobility, 
and we look forward to the acceleration of our technological studies 
for the realization of a manned, pressurized rover.”

Toyota President Akio Toyoda said this:
“The automotive industry has long done business with the concepts 
of ‘hometown’ and ‘home country’ largely in mind.
However, from now on, in responding to such matters as environmental 
issues of global scale, the concept of ‘home planet’, from which all 
of us come, will become a very important concept.
Going beyond the frameworks of countries or regions, I believe that 
our industry, which is constantly thinking about the role it should 
fulfill, shares the same aspirations of international space 
exploration.
Furthermore, cars are used in all of Earth’s regions, and, in some 
regions, cars play active roles as partners for making sure that 
people come back alive.
And I think that coming back alive is exactly what is needed in 
this project.
I am extremely happy that, for this project, expectations have 
been placed on the thus-far developed durability and driving 
performance of Toyota vehicles and on our fuel cell environmental 
technologies.”

URL:
http://global.jaxa.jp/press/2019/03/20190312a.html


National Research and Development Agency
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
Toyota Motor Corporation