Suzuki Expertise Used by HAKUTO-R to Land on the Moon
Lunar Lander Developers Share Their Experience and Excitement
As a corporate partner in the HAKUTO-R commercial lunar exploration program, Suzuki is applying its proven technologies for building compact, lightweight cars. Three Suzuki staff members — Idemitsu Masuda, Kentaro Shizu and Daisuke Furumoto — are participating in the development of the lunar lander as technical support staff. You can read here the interview of these three personnel and their stories about providing technical support for the lunar lander project.
1. How often did you meet with the team?
(Masuda): We met as often as even twice a month, whether in person or via online meetings, for discussions with three to five members of the team designing the Lunar lander’s legs.
2. What does your work at Suzuki share in common with providing technical support for development of the lunar lander?
(Furumoto): The materials and processes used in lunar lander development are far more expensive and lighter in weight than those for mass production cars. On the other hand, the design basics of strength, rigidity, vibration, weight, cost and scheduling are exactly the same. This made it easy to relate to the hardships the team faced in balancing cost and weight considerations while chasing a tight schedule.
3. Is there anything from this experience that you will be able to apply to your work in making cars?
(Shizu): When designing individual parts or components, we often started with detailed calculations to ensure satisfactory performance before proceeding with analysis. I think it would be beneficial if, in like fashion, we at Suzuki could start by showing other departments the necessary performance requirements.
4. What did you find enjoyable about this project? And, what did you find difficult?
(Furumoto): The vocabulary used in the aerospace field differs from the auto industry to the extent that meetings conducted in English gave me a hard time. This was not only true of the technical jargon, but even differences in general terms such as “structure” caught me off guard.
5. What expectations do you hold for the future of the HAKUTO-R missions?
(Masuda): I’m really looking forward to HAKUTO-R landing on the lunar surface on schedule in 2022.
*We have selected only several responses here. You can read the whole interview here: