The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Toyota Motor Corporation announced they will consider collaborating on international space exploration. As a first step, the two companies agreed to further cooperate on and accelerate their ongoing joint study of a manned, pressurized rover that employs fuel-cell electric 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 (6200 mi).
JAXA Vice President Koichi Wakata noted that JAXA is studying scenarios and technologies that will be applied to specific space missions. He said, “Manned, pressurized rovers will be an important element supporting human lunar exploration, which we envision will take place in the 2030s. We aim at launching such a rover into space in 2029.”