Developing a vehicle designed for moon exploration isn’t exactly easy. Toyota and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency or JAXA signed a three-year joint research agreement from 2019 to 2021.
To meet their deadlines, Toyota and JAXA plans to complete different phases of the vehicle’s development. This year, they will focus on identifying the elements that they need to drive on the moon’s surface. The prototype will also be drawn up.
Next year, the companies will start manufacturing important test parts to meet the technological elements for the prototype rover which will be tested and evaluated in 2021. By 2027, the companies are expected to finish manufacturing and testing the quality and performance of the flight model just in time for its launch in 2030.
The vehicle is set to arrive on the moon earlier than the astronauts and will drive autonomously to welcome them.
Quest to the Moon
Japan is not the only country that aims to explore the moon. India initially wanted a piece of the cake but was forced to postpone its plan due to a technical snag. The launch of the probe named Chandrayaan 2 was canceled less than an hour before the blast. This mishap greatly affected the country’s aim to be the fourth country to land a spacecraft on the lunar surface.
“A technical snag was observed in launch vehicle system at 1 hour before the launch. As a measure of abundant precaution, #Chandrayaan2 launch has been called off for today. Revised launch date will be announced later,” said the Indian Space Research Organization in a tweet.
Currently, only the United States, China, and Russia have successfully landed space crafts on the moon.
Now, it seems that another race is beginning. Aside from Japan, China, and India, Donald Trump, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk have also announced their goal to get people back to the moon.