This month Toyota and JAXA (the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Japan’s NASA) announced the name of their recent, ongoing collaboration: The Lunar Cruiser, which will be a manned, pressurized EV that astronauts will use to cruise around on the surface of the moon.
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Due to the massive amount of fuel cells this thing packs (those circles in the image below)…
…the six-wheeled vehicle is anticipated to have a range of 10,000 kilometers (over 6,000 miles); as that’s long enough to drive from NYC to LA and back, that should enable astronauts to tackle rather ambitious lunar roadtrips.
Interestingly, Toyota and JAXA view the concept less as a basic form of transportation, and more like the Conestoga wagons that led early American settlers (okay, invaders) to form far-flung communities.
“JAXA and Toyota have been discussing laterally with a variety of industries…the theme of ‘a lunar society pioneered by the manned pressurized rover.’ …The meetings focus on how the manned pressurized rover becomes the starting point of a vision of a future lunar surface-based society while discussing the challenges associated with the creation of this type of society.”
At the very least, it looks like this society won’t have to build roads.