Bridgestone tyres have announced a new partnership with the Japanese Space Agency – JAXA and Toyota. Their involvement will aid with researching the best wheel/tyre type for a pressurised human rover.
Bridgestone will further their early 2000’s joint research with JAXA examining the contact patch between the lunar surface. One development will be to focus on an elastic wheel of sorts that will both support the rovers weight, acceleration, braking, manoeuvrability and shock absorbing properties.
They’re aiming for the rover to be able to drive over 10,000 km on the Moon’s surface.
The company says:
Bridgestone is proud of its legacy of developing solutions to meet unique mobility challenges, and is committed to actively contributing to this international space exploration mission by developing a contact patch capable of functioning even in the challenging mobility conditions experienced on the lunar surface of the moon.