Toyota is teaming up with Japan's space agency on a planned mission to the Moon, with the Japanese auto giant expected to develop a lunar rover, officials and local media said Wednesday.
It will be the car manufacturer's first full-fledged entry into space exploration, after the company jointly developed a small robot sent to the International Space Station.
‘We are planning to cooperate with Toyota in an exploration mission to the Moon,’ said a spokesman with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
Details will be announced by JAXA and Toyota Tuesday next week when the space agency hosts a symposium in Tokyo, the spokesman told AFP.
Toyota also confirmed plans to announce a joint project with JAXA ‘on mobility and a space probe’ but declined to comment further.
Jiji Press news agency said the car giant is expected to jointly develop a ‘mobility method’ to be used on the lunar surface for the mission.
The mission is part of renewed global interest in the Moon, sometimes called the ‘eighth continent’ of the Earth, and comes 50 years after American astronauts first walked on the lunar surface.
Before humans set foot on the lunar surface again, NASA aims to land an unmanned vehicle on the Moon by 2024.
So far, only Russia, the United States and China have made the 384,000-kilometre (239,000-mile) journey and landed spacecraft on the Moon.
Last month, Israel launched a spacecraft that aims to join them.
In 2017, Japan revealed plans to put an astronaut on the Moon around 2030.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
Abe drafts rising star MP, allies for new cabinet
Japan's Abe shakes up cabinet, brings in rising star
Japan will have to dump radioactive Fukushima water into Pacific, minister says
Powerful typhoon Faxai batters Tokyo, two dead
Woman killed as strong typhoon lashes Tokyo area, cutting power and transport
Tokyo braces for direct hit from typhoon Faxai
One dead, 30 hurt as express train, truck collide near Tokyo
Two dead as Japan orders 670,000 to flee heavy rains
Japan says North Korea developing warheads to penetrate missile defences