Nov 30, 2010

Rover roundup - Chang'e 3 gets a launch pad

Latest news of lunar rover attempts outside of the Lunar X Prize

China has set its date to land a man on the Moon.

Well, several dates, depending on who you want to listen to.

It could be just 15 years away, according academic Ye Peijan from China Aerospace Science and Technology, but China expects it to happen by 2030 at the latest.

They're taking a slow, steady approach, which has so far been a successful one.

On November 8, CNSA announced its second orbiter Chang'e 2, successfully entered a 100km working orbit.


Chang'e 3 will launch in 2013 (Xinhua)

Now it's Chang'e 3's turn. Yesterday, the project's top boffin Ouyang Ziyuan announced the mission to put China's first rover on the Moon would launch from the Wenchang Launching Base in Southern China's Hainan Province.

Prof Ziyuan is a strong believer in the possibilities offered by the Moon's mineral supplies, particularly lunar helium-3, which he believes holds one of the keys to developing nuclear fusion power plants.

Chang'e 3 is the lunar-lander and rover that he hopes will dig for and return soil samples. The rover was finished last year and will be launched in 2013.

It can transmit video in real time and travel at 100m per hour, with the ability to climb hills and avoid obstacles.

According to China's Xinhua news agency, it will be launched from a Long March 3B vehicle and land in the Sinus Iridium (Bay of Rainbows).

Nov 28, 2010

Be part of the space race: Sponsor White Label Space!

If you really want to be part of the next space race then an easy, in-expensive and rewarding way is to sponsor White Label Space.

Space has long been the domain of government space agencies, funded by tax payers, yet now is the time for privately sponsored and funded ventures to go back to the moon, explore the solar system and reach for the stars. As an added bonus, sponsoring White Label Space is a donation and therefore Tax Deductible in many countries.

White Label Space recognises that we all have different budgets, so please slot yourself into one of these affordable options:


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Nov 16, 2010

Lunar Numbat's TED debut

There are few better ways to spread the word about the achievements of the White Label Space team than through a TED event.

Last month, Australians were treated to TEDxCanberra - an ideas forum based on the original premise of the Technology Entertainment and Design events that began in the US in 1984.

Lunar Numbat team leader Marco Ostini was invited to speak at the inaugural event
.

Scroll down to jump straight to the video of Marco's presentation

The Australian team is tasked with, among other things, developing the throttle control technology that will hopefully see the WLS Lunar Lander descend safely to the surface of the moon.

In typical TED style, speakers are given between three and 18 minutes. Marco used his to tell those gathered in the Australian capital "Why the world needs a Lunar Numbat".

(FYI - a numbat is an Australian marsupial that suffers from a lack of publicity in its home country. Marco's team have adopted it as a fitting mascot.)

In a nutshell, he squeezed in a wide range of issues, such as:

- Why space science is essential for ongoing human life and the maintenance
of life on Earth

- How space science has stagnated from where it should be, but latent
desires in many, such as those harnessed by the GLXP, can lead to a
reflowering of risk-taking and innovation

- White Label Space being the only team with significant Australian
presence and their development of one the most well thought out and credible
missions ready for actions

- How sponsoring the WLS Lunar mission would derive a lot more prestige
and marketing clout than the average Formula 1 race; and

- How Lunar Numbat hope to bring Open Source innovations to
space science by supporting WLS.

It's a great get for the Aussie team. The inaugural Canberra event sold out in 48 hours and Marco was invited to share his ideas alongside futurists, leading climate change experts, magicians and even the current Australian of the Year.

Check out the video of his speech in full below:

Nov 12, 2010

Peter Farquhar

Peter Farquhar is White Label Space's lead blogger.

A journalist with 12 years experience across newspapers, magazines and websites, his current role is Technology Editor of Australian website www.news.com.au.

Peter's first mission at News was the addition of a Sci-Tech section to ensure an increasing flow of space-related articles had a home.

"Even so, it's been hard to keep up in 2010," he said. "We've never pushed the boundaries of space exploration faster. Every day delivers an incredible new discovery."

Being able to work with the WLS team is as daunting as it is exciting for Peter.

"The breadth of experience the WLS team has pulled together from across the globe is an amazing achievement in itself," he said.

"There's a lot of stories to tell here. I'm looking forward to it."

Although he has followed the progress of the Lunar X PRIZE since its inception, Peter was particularly drawn to the strong Australian presence at WLS.

"We're lagging well behind the rest of the developed world when it comes to having any form of an official space agency, yet we've still got people determined to be at the top of the game," he said.

"Any opportunity to be show Australian kids they can still get involved in the race to space is worth pursuing."

Peter's favourite space celebrity of 2010 is ZombieSat, with a tip of the hat to US space plane, the X-37B.

You're welcome to contact him with news or feedback anytime at;
peter.farquhar_at_whitelabelspace.com.

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Announcing the Chief Blog-O-Naut

Last month White Label Space issued a call for a blog-o-naut, to lead our blogging efforts. A number of very good candidates responded and after much deliberation we finally selected Peter Farquhar for this role.

Peter is a journalist with 12 years experience across newspapers, magazines and websites, his current role is Technology Editor for the Australian website www.news.com.au. He will use his professional experience to help us tell our story to the world, as we look for sponsors to support our ambitious moon mission.

To support Peter, we are currently putting together a team of dedicated and talented individuals to work on specific publicity and promotion tasks including video production, social media and international translations.

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Nov 11, 2010

Redaction: Test Launch Successful

After our last post we have received numerous emails from various parties claiming that they neither own or intend to use spy satellites for the purposes of spying on White Label Space.

We accept this fully & would like to state that the last post was intended as a joke & it was not the intension that the absurd content of the post be taken seriously. The celestial bodies were aligned in such a way yesterday that they induced "Moon fever" in a certain not to be named member of our team leading to a temporary loss of sanity & the pressing of the big red publish post button.

We also would also like to apologise to any parties that spent much of the night trying to track & identify our satellite in it's supposed retrograde Lower Earth Orbit.

Nov 7, 2010

Presentation at Waseda Festival

In an event today at Waseda University in Tokyo, Takeshi Hakamada, the CEO of White Label Space Japan, addressed students and members of the public about the team's Google Lunar X PRIZE (GLXP) mission.

Below is a photo taken during the event, which was part of a Space 2.0 event that also included a talk by Japan's first space tourist, Noriaki Inami (the link points to his blog).


Takeshi Hakamada, together with other Japanese members of White Label Space, is operating a Japanese language blog that covers the team's activities for the Japanese audience.

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Nov 1, 2010

Greatest Space Ads - Blackberry Brings Space to the Public

"Bringing the Space Age to the public using space age technology" - that's the message that BlackBerry gives in this ad featuring Neil Milburn from Armadillo Aerospace.

This ad is a straight-up technology brand linkage. Note also the more female-friendly segment of the add showing how the smart phone can be used for more everyday (but equally important) things.



Thanks to the X PRIZE Foundation for spotting this ad which is a great example for GLXP teams.