He will be able to ride 10 thousand kilometers of the lunar surface.
The Japanese aerospace exploration Agency (JAXA) and Toyota agreed to explore the possibility of partnerships in the field of space exploration. In particular, experts from both organizations will study the hermetic concept of the car to move astronauts on the lunar surface at a distance of 10 thousand kilometers, according to a press release from JAXA, informs Rus.Media.
To date, the only experience of landing humans on other cosmic bodies were obtained in the course of the American program “Apollo”. During the first mission with the landing of the astronauts were able to collect large amounts of data and samples of the lunar soil, however, the exploration area was limited to a few hundred meters around the lander. During the last three missions the astronauts used the lunar vehicles, which substantially expanded the exploration area. For example, during the mission “Apollo 17” the car moved away from the lander at a distance of 7.6 kilometers, and each of the three cars covered at least 27 kilometers of the lunar surface.
As in recent years, an increasing number of countries and organizations began to seriously consider the possibility of returning people to the moon, they began to develop new concepts and devices that will be able to provide landing and productive stay of astronauts on the lunar surface.
JAXA and Toyota decided to develop the project of a lunar transport, which will allow to expand the capabilities of crews on the lunar expeditions. The presented project has many significant differences from the car that was used in the mission “Apollo”. The main one is that the car will have a sealed compartment in which astronauts will be able to remove the suits. The settlement amount of the car will be 13 cubic meters. The developers note that the car is designed to carry two people, but in an emergency, use them four. The length of the car will amount to six meters, width 5.2 m and a height of 3.8 meters.
The device is a wheeled platform with six wheels, which are driven by electric motors. They will get energy from fuel cells. In addition, on the side of the car is the flexible solar panel that rolls up, however, is unknown, the energy from it will be used for movement. It is assumed that the cruising range of the car on one tank of fuel will amount to 10 thousand kilometers, which is about 900 kilometers less than the lunar equator. Thus, if not take into account the characteristics of the lunar terrain, the astronauts will be able to get a car almost anywhere in the moon. It is assumed that in case of successful development and approval of a project to launch a spacecraft to the moon will take place in 2029.
Probably, Japan will carry out a manned mission on the lunar surface by the projected monthly orbital station Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway.
In addition to JAXA in preparation of project vehicles for this program are busy and other countries and organizations. For example, Lockheed Martin and RSC Energia started developing landers, and NASA is already engaged in preparation of a full manned spacecraft “Orion”, consists of a manned capsule and the service module. In this configuration the ship will be used for delivery of astronauts on the lunar station.