On Earth, Toyota is one of the automakers that is particularly focused on hydrogen propulsion. From the point of view of corporate management , there are three main reasons for this : the charging time, the efficiency and the transportability. Since 2014, the Group has also offered the hydrogen sedan Mirai. Observers also assume that a successor will be presented later this year. At the same time, however, the group's engineers are also working on a futuristic project: A lunar vehicle with hydrogen propulsion is being designed for the Japanese space agency JAXA. The specifications are ambitious. The astronauts are said to be able to travel up to 10,000 kilometers by car. Parallel to the fuel cell, therefore, the use of solar modules on the vehicle is planned in order to gain additional energy.
Up to four astronauts should be able to live in the vehicle
The lunar vehicle is also significantly larger than the driving on the ground cars. The project is currently planned with a length of six meters and a width of 5.20 meters. In the interior, this would result in a volume of 13,000 liters. The space is needed, however. Because the astronauts should not only explore the moon in the vehicle, but also live in it during these tours. This in turn presents the engineers with further challenges. So a closed construction is necessary so that the astronauts do not have to wear spacesuits. All in all, the plans are for up to four astronauts to be able to travel simultaneously with the hydrogen moon car. But at least nobody has to drive: the vehicle will be completely autonomous.
The moon is the destination of many nations
Still exists the Toyota for the moon however only on the paper. It will only be used for the first time in about ten years. So the engineers still have some time to put the theoretical considerations into practice. Japan is not the only country that has taken a closer look at the moon in recent years. For example, China recently sent a spacecraft to the back of the moon for the first time. In Israel, for example, the first privately financed lunar rover recently launched into space. In parallel, India is also working on its own moon mission. However, only the United States has succeeded in actually bringing astronauts to Earth's moon. Here too, however, several countries – including Japan – have meanwhile announced their own missions.