Pressurized Rover developed in partnership with Toyota was the option chosen by the American agency to not have to create a vehicle of its own from scratch
One of the main challenges for NASA in its mission to send humans back to Lua to think what would be the best “home” for them. Previous ideas for lunar habitats have already included inflatable tents, underground bases and even giant fungi.
Now, through a partnership with the Japanese space agency JAXA, NASA appears to have found the best option to house people on the star: a pressurized rover as if it were a trailer for the Moon.
JAXA has been working with Toyota for just over two years on a version of a motorhome to be used on the Moon, however, NASA was, until then, concerned about the budget. Faced with funding cuts and the current government’s high goals for a landing on the Moon, the American agency now uses the Japanese space vehicle as a way to get there without having to develop its own vehicle from scratch.
Prototype of the lunar vehicle developed by Toyota and JAXA. Photo: Toyota / JAXA
Development of the lunar vehicle
When JAXA announced the vehicle in 2019, it accommodated only two people. The configurations of the six-wheel car up to that point were: approximately 6 meters long, 5 meters wide and about 13 meters of living environment.
It is not yet clear, however, whether modifications will be made to transform the space vehicle into a habitat, or whether lunar colonists will have to be content to live in huddles.
The companies expected the pressurized vehicle to be ready only in 2029, to be launched in 2030. With NASA now in the game, and pressured to take a manned mission by 2024, the development of the “lunar trailer” will have to be accelerated.
Nasa Moon jaxa vehicles manned mission