JAXA and Honda to Begin a Feasibility Study on a Circulative Renewable Energy System in Space

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Honda today announced the plan to begin a joint feasibility study on a circulative renewable energy system in space. The circulative renewable energy system is designed to supply oxygen, hydrogen, and electricity for human outposts and rovers. One of the solutions to obtain them in space without resupply from Earth is creating a circulative renewable energy system, which combines a high differential pressure water electrolysis system that produces oxygen and hydrogen using solar energy to electrolyze water and a fuel cell system that generates electricity and water from oxygen and hydrogen.

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Based on this concept, in November 2020, JAXA and Honda signed a three-fiscal year joint research agreement (through JFY 2022) to pursue research on the circulative renewable energy system for use on Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway (Gateway) and on the surface of the Moon, utilizing Honda’s high differential pressure water electrolysis and fuel cell technologies.

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During the current fiscal year (JFY 2021), JAXA and Honda, utilizing the prototypes, will start the feasibility study addressing the issues on component technologies of the circulative renewable energy system identified by the research conducted during the last fiscal year.