Author Topic: JAXA, Toyota co-operation: crewed, pressurized, fuel-cell driven lunar rover  (Read 818 times)

Online jacqmans

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JAXA and Toyota Reach Agreement on Taking Up the Challenge of International Space Exploration

-Aim is to make future lunar mobility a reality-

March 12, 2019 (JST)

Tokyo, Japan, March 12, 2019-The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) agreed today to study the possibility of collaborating on international space exploration.
As a first step, JAXA and Toyota agreed to further cooperate on and accelerate their ongoing joint study of a manned, pressurized rover that employs fuel cell 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.

International space exploration, aiming to achieve sustainable prosperity for all of humankind by expanding the domain of human activity and giving rise to intellectual properties, has its sights set on the moon and Mars.

To achieve the goals of such exploration, coordination between unmanned missions, such as the recent successful touchdown by the asteroid probe Hayabusa2 on the asteroid Ryugu, and manned missions, such as those involving humans using pressurized rovers
to conduct activities on the moon, is essential.

When it comes to challenging missions such as lunar or Martian exploration, while various countries are competing in advancing their technologies, they are also advancing their cooperative efforts.

JAXA President Hiroshi Yamakawa had this to say today about the agreement between JAXA and Toyota:
“At JAXA, we are pursuing international coordination and technological studies toward Japan’s participation in international space exploration.

We aim to contribute through leading Japanese technologies that can potentially generate spin-off benefits.
Having Toyota join us in the challenge of international space exploration greatly strengthens our confidence.
Manned rovers with pressurized cabins are an element that will play an important role in full-fledged exploration and use of the lunar surface.

For this, we would like to concentrate our country’s technological abilities and conduct technological studies.
Through our joint studies going forward, we would like to put to use Toyota’s excellent technological abilities related to mobility, and we look forward to the acceleration of our technological studies for the realization of a manned, pressurized rover.”

Toyota President Akio Toyoda said this:
“The automotive industry has long done business with the concepts of ‘hometown’ and ‘home country’ largely in mind.

However, from now on, in responding to such matters as environmental issues of global scale, the concept of ‘home planet’, from which all of us come, will become a very important concept.

Going beyond the frameworks of countries or regions, I believe that our industry, which is constantly thinking about the role it should fulfill, shares the same aspirations of international space exploration.
Furthermore, cars are used in all of Earth’s regions, and, in some regions, cars play active roles as partners for making sure that people come back alive.

And I think that coming back alive is exactly what is needed in this project.
I am extremely happy that, for this project, expectations have been placed on the thus-far developed durability and driving performance of Toyota vehicles and on our fuel cell environmental technologies.”

URL:
http://global.jaxa.jp/press/2019/03/20190312a.html
« Last Edit: 03/12/2019 05:15 pm by zubenelgenubi »

Offline TrevorMonty

Storage of H and O is important part of fuel cell rover. Here are some options for H.

http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/en/consumer/hydrogen/basics/storage.htm

Storage as compressed gas and as in Complex Metal Hydrides seem most promising. Not sure which is more important for rover storage space or weight.

Offline Zed_Noir

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The JAXA-Toyota Lunar rover is got to be heavier than 5 tonnes and wouldn't fitted inside EELV class payload fairing. So how is JAXA getting this rover to the Moon? Did JAXA give any hints to how they are getting the rover off Earth and landing on the Moon.

Offline Phil Stooke

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The most sensible interpretation would be that this is intended for a time, maybe 10 to 12 years from now, when international operations are in progress at the Moon and this is Japan's contribution to the global effort.  Capabilities shared between various partners would include a large cargo lander to deliver it to the surface, and heavy launch to get it off Earth.  JAXA doesn't have to provide all that itself.  Whoever launches it, whoever lands it, they get to share in its use on the surface.  We  can expect a variety of plans for landers, habitats, surface power modules, rovers etc. to come from different places and eventually get rolled into the program, without each component being provided by a partner who can deliver it unaided.

Offline RonM

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The JAXA-Toyota Lunar rover is got to be heavier than 5 tonnes and wouldn't fitted inside EELV class payload fairing. So how is JAXA getting this rover to the Moon? Did JAXA give any hints to how they are getting the rover off Earth and landing on the Moon.

It will be okay as long as it can fit through the cargo door of a SpaceX Starship. A cargo lander launched from SLS would work too, but AFAIK nothing like that is currently being designed.

Offline TrevorMonty

The JAXA-Toyota Lunar rover is got to be heavier than 5 tonnes and wouldn't fitted inside EELV class payload fairing. So how is JAXA getting this rover to the Moon? Did JAXA give any hints to how they are getting the rover off Earth and landing on the Moon.

It will be okay as long as it can fit through the cargo door of a SpaceX Starship. A cargo lander launched from SLS would work too, but AFAIK nothing like that is currently being designed.
Human lander descent stage could be used for large payload delivery eg habitats and human rovers.

Offline Zed_Noir

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The JAXA-Toyota Lunar rover is got to be heavier than 5 tonnes and wouldn't fitted inside EELV class payload fairing. So how is JAXA getting this rover to the Moon? Did JAXA give any hints to how they are getting the rover off Earth and landing on the Moon.

It will be okay as long as it can fit through the cargo door of a SpaceX Starship. A cargo lander launched from SLS would work too, but AFAIK nothing like that is currently being designed.
Human lander descent stage could be used for large payload delivery eg habitats and human rovers.

IIRC the SpaceX Starship cargo hatch is 3.85m x 3.85m.

According to the press release the JAXA rover's nominal overall dimensions is:
Length 6.0m; width 5.2m; height 3.8m

The rover appears to be too wide to pass through the Starship cargo hatch as depicted now.

Fun factoid, the conceptual JAXA rover got a bigger frontal profile than current main battle tanks!

Offline TrevorMonty

For more information on using these Rovers see this article. No mention of RTG in Toyota rover, would be limiting for commercial applications as RTG are restricted to government agencies plus there is limited supply of fuel.

http://fiso.spiritastro.net/archivelist.htm
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Offline DistantTemple

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The JAXA-Toyota Lunar rover is got to be heavier than 5 tonnes and wouldn't fitted inside EELV class payload fairing. So how is JAXA getting this rover to the Moon? Did JAXA give any hints to how they are getting the rover off Earth and landing on the Moon.

It will be okay as long as it can fit through the cargo door of a SpaceX Starship. A cargo lander launched from SLS would work too, but AFAIK nothing like that is currently being designed.
Human lander descent stage could be used for large payload delivery eg habitats and human rovers.

Transport to Mars: A mad idea: Jaxa/Toyota purchase outright (or similar contractual arrangement) a "chomper" SS modified to have the chomper door detachable on Mars, and a suitable crane designed build and installed for unloading of the rover and other payloads. The rover could be packed with supplies for its first journey, and there would be room on the flight for a backup, and comprehensive parts, consumables, extra instrumentation for future explorations and projects etc.
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