April 14, 2024

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The Ultimate Driving Machines

Toyota taps Lunar Cruiser as name for upcoming moon rover

TOKYO — If Land Cruiser is the name of Toyota’s hardest all-terrain automobile, it is only natural the business ought to connect with its hardest extraterrestrial design the Lunar Cruiser.

And that is the moniker Japan’s most significant automaker has tapped for its prepared moon rover — a 6-wheeled, pressurized, fuel cell-powered behemoth slated for liftoff in 2029.

In asserting the choice in a Friday information release, Toyota said it wanted the name to hark back again to the Land Cruiser SUV, one of the Toyota brand’s most storied nameplates.

“The Land Cruiser is constructed with the frame of mind, top quality, durability and dependability to ‘bring you property alive,’ a top quality that the business would like to carry about to the manned lunar rover, which ought to run in an even more extreme natural environment and set of circumstances,” Toyota said.

Toyota is proposing its rover for a foreseeable future global moon mission, led by NASA and joined by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and other groups. Toyota floated the notion of setting up the mission’s lunar rover previous yr.

The Lunar Cruiser would be the dimensions of two microbuses and powered by a hydrogen fuel cell method. Retractable photo voltaic panels would enable produce electrical energy for onboard use.

Contrary to the moon buggies released below the Apollo missions of the 1970s, Toyota’s rover will have a thoroughly enclosed cabin. It is made for two astronauts but can accommodate 4 in an unexpected emergency.

Toyota hopes to confirm energy and heat radiation general performance of its rover this yr, as properly as its structure, employing entire-dimensions mock-ups and digital reality. Toyota is coordinating with Japan’s space agency on the project as one of Japan’s contributions to the global mission.

Toyota’s specs connect with for a moon rover capable of touring one,000 kilometers (621 miles) on entire tanks of oxygen and hydrogen for a complete life span of 10,000 kilometers (six,210 miles) of vacation about 42 days. The Land Cruiser, released in 1951, has a range of about 369 miles.