Bridgestone Joins International Space Exploration Mission with JAXA and Toyota

Company supports research on tires for manned, pressurized rovers required for lunar surface mobility and exploration
Apr 15, 2019 8:00 AM ET
Press Release

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., April 15, 2019 /3BL Media/ — Bridgestone Corporation today announced 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*1 in order to help these rovers make better contact with the surface of the moon. Bridgestone 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 rovers and the lunar surface, and serve as a technical partner for the Toyota rover project. 

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 more than 10,000 km on the lunar surface. 

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. Through the development of a contact patch, capable of functioning even in the challenging mobility conditions experienced on the lunar surface of the moon, Bridgestone is determined to find solutions that allow the rover to accomplish its mission. 

“We are honored 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 today. “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.” 

*1 JAXA and Toyota Reach Agreement on Consideration toward International Space Exploration (news release issued by Toyota Motor Corporation)

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About Bridgestone Corporation

Bridgestone Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo, is the world’s largest tire and rubber company. In addition to tires for use in a wide variety of applications, it also manufactures a broad range of diversified products, which include industrial rubber and chemical products and sporting goods. Its products are sold in over 150 nations and territories around the world. 

About Bridgestone Americas, Inc.

Nashville, Tenn.-based Bridgestone Americas, Inc. (BSAM) is the U.S. subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation, the world’s largest tire and rubber company. BSAM and its subsidiaries develop, manufacture and market a wide range of Bridgestone, Firestone and associate brand tires to address the needs of a broad range of customers, including consumers, automotive and commercial vehicle original equipment manufacturers, and those in the agricultural, forestry and mining industries. The companies are engaged in retreading operations throughout the Western Hemisphere and produce air springs, roofing materials, and industrial fibers and textiles. The BSAM family of companies also operates the world’s largest chain of automotive tire and service centers. Guided by its global corporate social responsibility commitment, Our Way to Serve, the company is dedicated to improving the way people live, work, move and play in all of the communities it calls home. 

Key Contacts 
Paul Oakley, Vice President, Communications 
OakleyPaul@bfusa.com 
615-627-8917