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The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Toyota Motor Corporation agreed 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 kilometers.

“At JAXA, we are pursuing international coordination and technological studies toward Japan’s participation in international space exploration,” said JAXA President Hiroshi Yamakawa. “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.”