Bridgestone Corporation announced last week that it will take part in an international space exploration mission together with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Toyota Motor Corporation. Recently announced by JAXA and Toyota, the goals of this mission are to expand the domain of human activity and develop intellectual property on space exploration. Bridgestone’s mission assignment is to research the performance needs of tires for use on manned, pressurized rovers in order to help these rovers make better contact with the surface of the moon.
The company’s expertise and knowledge of tire contact patch will help explore the mobility challenges faced on the lunar surface. The development of an Elastic Wheel to support the rover’s weight, acceleration and braking, minimize shock absorbance and improve maneuverability enables the rover to cruise on the lunar surface.