Renowned vehicle manufacturer Toyota is already ambitious and have recently set their sights even higher. When I say higher, I mean it literally, as the company is developing a vehicle to explore the moon.
According to the New York Post, Toyota is working with Japan’s space agency on a vehicle capable of exploring the moon’s surface. The organization’s ambitions go even further, with them claiming they aim to help people live on the moon by 2040. They also hope the vehicles will eventually reach Mars.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency is assisting with the vehicle, dubbed the Lunar Cruiser. The name is a nod to the Toyota Land Cruiser here on Earth. The Lunar Cruiser is more than a vehicle though, with it possessing far more utility. Takao Sato heads the Lunar Cruiser project at Toyota Motor Corp. In a statement, he said the design is based on the premise people will eat, work, sleep, and communicate with one another in these vehicles.
“We see space as an area for our once-in-a-century transformation,” Sato continued. “By going to space, we may be able to develop telecommunications and other technology that will prove valuable to human life.”
Along the lines of utility, another company is making a robotic arm for the cruiser. Gitai Japan Inc. is developing the arm for Toyota. The arm aims to perform tasks like inspection and maintenance. It even includes a “grapple fixture” to use different tools.
Toyota engineer Shinichiro Noda expressed excitement about the lunar venture, saying he can’t wait to go beyond the Earth to serve people. “Sending our cars to the moon is our mission,” he said. Toyota has vehicles almost everywhere. “But this is about taking our cars to somewhere we have never been.”
Future Astronauts May Also Drive Motorcycles on the Moon
Driving trucks and bigger vehicles on the moon is one thing, but one company wants to do something a bit different. A German motor design company wants you to ride in style and revealed a concept for a moon motorcycle.
Hookie is the company in question, revealing the concept last year in October. The “Tardigrade” is an electric motorcycle idea Nico von Hookie brought to life. It features changeable airless carbon tires, a battery range of 70 miles, and weighs a mere 295 pounds. Though the design isn’t actually being developed, they hope it could serve as a foundation for future motorcycles on the moon.
“So the NASA bike is more than just a functional means of transportation,” the official website reads. “We see it also as a projection surface for fantasies and longings. In the saddle of this unique electric motorcycle – with carbon-sprung single-sided swing arms, balloon tires from the 3D printer and drive-by-wire steering – all hopes of an exciting future between the moon crater and the space station should be fulfilled.”