Japanese firm develops lunar water electrolyzer for use in moon probe

A Japanese company has developed a lunar water electrolysis device that produces hydrogen and oxygen on the surface of the moon.

Takasago Thermal Engineering, a private Tokyo-based firm that supplies air conditioning equipment, unveiled an experimental model of the device to reporters on Monday.

The device measures 30 centimeters long, 45 centimeters wide and 20 centimeters tall.

Officials from the company say the device was designed to withstand shocks from liftoffs and touchdowns, by fastening down its pipes. They also adopted semiconductors that are resilient against radiation in outer space.

Research reports released in recent years suggest that there is water on the moon.

Hopes are high that when water can be split into hydrogen and oxygen on the moon, hydrogen gas can be used as fuel and oxygen as air, to allow long-term lunar missions.

Plans are underway for Tokyo-based venture "ispace" to carry the device to the moon in winter this year.