Toyota is making significant strides in space exploration with its latest development, the Lunar Cruiser. As part of Japan’s efforts to expand its presence in space exploration, this manned lunar rover is expected to head to the moon in 2029. The goal is to have a Japanese astronaut posted at the Gateway lunar space station.
One of the key challenges for the Lunar Cruiser is the lack of gas stations on the moon. To overcome this, Toyota plans to use regenerative cell technology for energy creation. The idea is to use the moon’s water ice as an energy source through electrolysis, which converts solar energy and water into hydrogen and oxygen. The fuel cell onboard the rover will then provide power during the 14-day lunar nights.
While the technology relies on water, for now, water will be sent up to the moon with the Lunar Cruiser. However, there is hope that future technological advances will allow the utilization of moon ice water or mining for water on the moon itself.
The Lunar Cruiser is a significant step towards sustainable technology and space exploration. It has the potential to benefit future hydrogen-powered road cars, according to CarBuzz. Additionally, the concept of using fuel cells as a power source for transportation is being explored on Earth as well.
Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) have the advantage of being fueled in just five minutes and providing up to 300 miles of driving range. The only emission from FCEVs is water. However, the widespread adoption of FCEVs will depend on the availability of appropriate infrastructure.
Toyota’s efforts in space exploration are parallel to its advancements in electric vehicle technology. The company recently achieved a breakthrough in battery technology for electric vehicles, resulting in batteries that are half the size, weight, and cost of liquid-based versions.
As the world moves towards alternative fuels and sustainable technologies, Toyota’s Lunar Cruiser represents an intriguing concept. While designed for the lunar environment, its technology could have potential benefits here on Earth as well.