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Japanese engineers will build a rover to travel on the moon without spacesuits

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Apr15,2024

Japanese engineers will build an all-terrain vehicle to travel on the moon without spacesuits

The creation of an airtight van for astronauts is part of an agreement on joint lunar exploration signed last week by NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

The Japanese Aerospace Agency (JAXA) and Toyota will build a closed all-terrain vehicle for future lunar missions, in which astronauts will be able to travel on the surface of the satellite for up to 30 days without spacesuits. NASA will send a “van” to the moon under the “Artemis” program. The agreement between the space agencies of the two countries also provides for the participation of Japanese astronauts in flights to the satellite.

According to the project, the all-terrain vehicle with a length of 6 m and a width of 5.2 m will be powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. In addition, the manned lunar rover will be equipped with solar panels that will help process waste water into oxygen and hydrogen to replenish fuel reserves and maintain a breathable atmosphere in the cabin.

In the 7 m&sup2 cabin. two astronauts will be able to spend up to 30 days. And without a crew, the lunar rover will work in automatic mode, continuing research.

Animation of the sealed lunar rover

According to the plan NASA will send a van to the moon during the Artemis VII mission in 2031. At the same time, the van will be designed for 10 years of service, during which the astronauts will be able to explore the region near the south pole of the satellite. It is assumed that the estimated mileage of the lunar rover will be at least 10,000 km.

Toyota and JAXA have been working on creating a sealed van for lunar exploration since 2019. At the end of last year, the developers completed the design of the device and began development. A scaled-down prototype was unveiled last year at the Tokyo Future Tour exhibition.

The agreement between the US and Japan also calls for the first Japanese astronaut to travel to the projected Gateway outpost that NASA plans to deploy in orbit. months In addition, two representatives of Japan will become the first non-American astronauts to step on the moon as part of the Artemis mission.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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