Bridgestone Corporation will take part in an international space exploration mission with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Toyota Motor Corporation.
The goals of the mission include expanding the domain of human activity in space and developing intellectual property on space exploration. Bridgestone’s involvement will be researching the performance needs of tires for use on manned, pressurized rovers to help the vehicles make better contact with the surface of the moon.
The tire manufacturer has partnered with both organizations to research this next phase of human exploration, building on a joint research partnership with JAXA in the 2000s to examine the contact patch between a rover vehicle and the lunar surface, and serve as a technical partner for the Toyota rover project.
Bridgestone’s expertise and knowledge of the tire contact patch will help explore the mobility challenges faced on the lunar surface, with the development of an elastic wheel to support the rover’s weight, acceleration and braking, minimize shock absorbance and improve maneuverability – the ultimate aim of which, will be enabling the rover to cruise more than 10,000km on the lunar surface to accomplish the mission.
“We are honored to partner with JAXA and Toyota in the challenge of space exploration,” said Nizar Trigui, chief technology officer, Bridgestone Americas. “We believe that our technical capabilities allow us to explore the development of a tire that is capable of functioning even in the harshest of conditions experienced on the surface of the moon, and bring us to a higher level of mobility for mankind.
“Our founder, Shojiro Ishibashi, believed in contributing to the advancement and development of society, and Bridgestone fulfills that belief through creative pioneering [Shinshu-Dokuso], an integral part of our corporate philosophy that enables the company to develop innovative solutions with an eye toward the future. This mission represents that commitment and is a testament of Bridgestone’s commitment to improving the way people move, live, work and play.”