Its energy is provided by fuel cells. "Because they achieve a high energy density, fuel cells are particularly suitable for use in a vehicle that is to travel on the moon," said Shigeki Terashi, Executive Vice President of Toyota Motors. Fuel cells would also make an indispensable contribution to the electrification of transport on earth.
According to preliminary plans, the lunar vehicle will be 6 m long, 5.2 m wide and 3.8 m high. With 13 m³ it would offer space for two people, if necessary it could also accommodate four people.
The study, which is being conducted by JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) and Toyota Motor, is intended as a preparation for future trips to the Moon and Mars. According to Toyota, the results of unmanned missions - such as the successful journey of the Hayabusa2 probe to the asteroid Ryugu - and manned space flights must go hand in hand. "Manned lunar vehicles will play an important role in the study of the lunar surface, where Toyota can bring its expertise in mobility to bear, and where we can make an important contribution to international programmes with Japanese technology," explains Hiroshi Yamakawa, President of JAXA. He expects that the first such vehicle could fly to the moon in 2029. After 2030, exploration of the moon would really get underway.