The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Toyota Motor Corporation have released the official nickname for their manned pressurized, long-range lunar rover that is powered by fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) technology. It’s been dubbed the Lunar Cruiser.
If humans are wanting to establish a permanent manned presence on the Moon, it will require more than building rockets, robotic rovers, and landers. It will also require the development of surface transports that are capable of carrying out the same jobs as their terrestrial counterparts to support a new lunar society.
Since June 13, 2019, JAXA and Toyota have been working together as part of “Team Japan” to develop a pressurized rover to be deployed within the next decade. With a range of 10,000 km (6,200 mi) thanks to a fuel cell/solar power system, the manned rover would be about the size of two minibuses and carry two passengers, or up to four in an emergency. By using a combination of fuel cell and solar panels, the Cruiser can recycle water back into hydrogen to increase the driving range.