May 9, 2009

What is White Label Space

We have been preparing a Google Lunar X PRIZE (GLXP) team since March of 2008. At first we didn't have a team name or even a vision for how we would approach the GLXP. At that time, we were united only by the common belief that the time had come for privately-funded space missions to the Moon and further destinations.

As we started work on our business plan, we realized that the GLXP is all about reaching out and engaging the general public so one of the first things we did was establish this White Label Space blog. Through this blog we have explored some of the commercial aspects of the GLXP including space advertising, our brand image, interesting news about space that impresses the everyday person (outside the space industry), recognition of our early partners, and even some speculation about how Star Trek would win the GLXP!

In parallel to the early blogging, we formed an engineering team to start developing the early concepts for our GLXP mission. So far we have progressed quite far in our preliminary design but we still have to do an enormous amount of work before we can see our GLXP mission blasting off towards the Moon.

In the coming weeks and months we will gradually introduce our team members and more details of our technical plans. Of course, we will have to keep some of the technical aspects confidential - this is a race after all!

From this blog post, the most important thing you should take away with you is the meaning of our team name. Our team leader Steve Allen, invented the "White Label Space" name during a brainstorming session on the 22'th of June 2008.

A "White Label Product" is a brandless (or generic) product provided ready for branding by another company. Some well known examples of white label products are supermarket goods, records, websites and electronics. Companies with a strong brand image use white label products in order to save the costs and risks of developing new products. In a similar way, White Label Space is a brandless Moon 2.0 space technology start-up, with the "product" being a complete space mission ready to win the GLXP.

Although the cost of access to space is decreasing, space missions are still very expensive and the most simple GLXP mission will have a cost in the many tens of millions of dollars. Our team of dedicated and passionate space engineers, together with our strong technical partners, will bridge the funding gap by developing the necessary technologies and designs in-house, and using the internet to promote our progress and test results.

When we are ready, we will sell our white label space mission to one or more of the biggest brands in the world, who will replace our White Label Space brand with their own brand/s, and together we will take part in humanity's next great step to a sustainable presence on Moon.

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