Bridgestone to Participate in International Space Exploration Mission

Bridgestone to Participate in International Space Exploration Mission
The Elastic Wheel contact patch concept developed by Bridgestone (Photo: Bridgestone)

Bridgestone recently announced that it is to join an international space exploration mission along with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Toyota.

Jointly announced by JAXA and Toyota, the mission aims to enhance the domain of human activity and create intellectual property on space exploration. As part of its assignment, Bridgestone will research the performance needs of tires that are to be used on manned pressurized rovers to assist these rovers in making better contact with the moon’s surface.

Bridgestone has entered into partnerships with both organizations to facilitate the research in this next phase of human exploration and hopes to build on a joint research partnership with JAXA in the 2000s to examine the contact patch between rovers and the lunar surface, and work as a technical partner for the Toyota rover project.

Bridgestone’s extensive knowledge of tire contact patch will enable it to identify the mobility challenges on the lunar surface. The rover is able to traverse more than 10,000 km on the lunar surface thanks to the creation of an Elastic Wheel that supports its weight, acceleration and braking. This development has minimized shock absorbance and also enhanced maneuverability.

In a release by the company, Bridgestone has expressed its pride in its legacy of developing solutions to meet different mobility challenges. The company has committed itself to contribute actively to this international space exploration mission. Bridgestone is striving hard to find solutions that will enable the rover to complete its mission. Its primary focus in this regard is the creation of a contact patch that can function even in the most adverse mobility conditions that exist on the lunar surface.

“We are honoured to partner with JAXA and Toyota in the challenge of space exploration,” said Nizar Trigui, Chief Technology Officer, Bridgestone Americas, during a JAXA session at the 35th Space Symposium held earlier this month. “We believe that our technical capabilities allow us to explore the possibilities of tire development capable of functioning even in the harshest of conditions found on the surface of the moon, and creates 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 allows the company to develop innovative solutions with an eye towards the future. This mission represents that commitment and is a testament of Bridgestone’s dedication to improving the way people move, live, work and play.”

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