Japan's space agency is joining forces with Toyota for a planned lunar mission. The Japanese automobile tycoon is expected to build a lunar rover, according to officials and local media
This marks Toyota’s first full-fledged step into space exploration after the company helped develop a small robot for the International Space Station. A spokesman for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) stated that they’re planning to work with Toyota to explore the Moon. Details surrounding the lunar mission will be revealed by JAXA and Toyota on Tuesday next week when the space agency hosts a symposium in Tokyo, according to the spokesman speaking to AFP.
Moreover, Toyota confirmed plans to launch a joint project with JAXA on mobility and space probe. However, they didn’t release any further details.
Jiji Press news agency reported that Toyota is expected to assist in developing a mobility method that can be used on the Moon’s surface for the upcoming mission.
The mission is part of the renewed worldwide interest in the Moon, which is sometimes dubbed the Earth’s eighth continent. It comes 50 years after American astronauts set foot on the Moon’s surface.
However, before humans land on the Moon again, NASA plans to land an uncrewed vehicle on the lunar surface by 2024. Currently, only Russia, the United States, and China have successfully landed spacecrafts on the Moon. Having launched their own lunar spacecraft last month, Israel may soon join the ranks.
Two years ago, Japan said they plan to have their astronaut walk on the Moon by 2030