WASHINGTON – Bridgestone Corp. said Wednesday it would tie up with Toyota Motor Corp. and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency on a joint mission to send a rover to the moon.
The world’s leading tire maker announced its participation at the Space Symposium in Colorado. JAXA is planning to launch the five-year mission in 2029.
Bridgestone said it will design an elastic wheel that can support the rover’s weight, acceleration and braking, minimize its shock absorbance and improve maneuverability — necessary to navigate the moon’s crater-covered, gravelly surface.
Toyota and JAXA said in March they would use an American rocket to launch the rover, amid growing international competition in lunar exploration.
The rover will be 6 meters in length, 5.2 meters wide and 3.8 meters in height, with a living space of 13 square meters, they said.