Oct 31, 2011

Idea for a Lunar Night Survival Box

This video captures an introductory discussion about a battery powered lunar night survival box under investigation by the WLS engineering team for the GLXP bonus prize.

Engineering Meeting With Some Hardware

This video shows some of the action from last week's engineering meeting at the White Label Space HQ.

A number of hardware pieces are shown in various stages of development:
  • new carbon fibre legs for the lander
  • a custom PCB for data acquisition
  • an omnidirectional camera that was repaired in the field at the Rio Tinto trials

Oct 27, 2011

Greatest Space Ads - China's Lenovo Stakes Claim in Commercial Space

Chinese electronics giant Lenovo has entered the commercial space race with a space-linked advertising campaign. Lenovo is supporting the YouTube Space Lab, a competition for teenagers to design experiments to be conducted in space.

Two winners of the competition will attend astronaut training in Russia and have their experiments performed aboard the International Space Station, and streamed to Earth. YouTube also joins the party by streaming the experiment down to Earth.

This is a keen marketing move by Lenovo, linking its brand the to dreams of today's youth while placing itself in the high-tech frontier of spaceflight. It should come as no surprise that Lenovo is interested in space since the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) is a major shareholder. The chief scientist of China's lunar exploration program, Ouyang Ziyuan, is in fact an academician at CAS (see here).

Andrea Gini is Editor-in-Chief of the Space Safety Magazine

White Label Space team member Andrea Gini is now Editor-in-chief of the Space Safety Magazine, a magazine published by the International Association for Advancement in Space Safety (IAASS) and the International Space Safety Foundation (ISSF), both non-profit organizations promoting the safe and sustainable use of space.

Starting in July, the Space Safety Magazine has evolved from a traditional document-based distribution to a paper magazine, complemented by a full-blown blog with daily updates on all the latest news and trends in the area of spaceflight safety.

We are very happy that Andrea is supporting the magazine whilst also remaining an active member of White Label Space. Indeed his work in that area is also relevant to the Google Lunar X PRIZE. Andrea describes the overlapping interests with the following comments:

"Poor attention, lack of technical progress in the field, cumulative effects, and weak or non-existent international rules are some of the risks that the space industry is facing nowadays."

"Safety risk in space missions refers to the general public safety (on ground, on air and at sea), safety of launch range personnel, and safety of humans on-board. Space safety is also generally defined in a wider sense as encompassing the safeguard of valuable facilities on ground (e.g. launch pads), of strategic and costly systems on orbit (i.e. global utilities), payloads as well as the safeguard of the space and Earth environment."

"Every space mission, especially those promoted by the the private sector like the GLXP, needs to take into account all these issues if they want to achieve the goal to lower the cost of access to space."

In his role as Chairman of IAASS Information and Communication Committee, Andrea developed the magazine to promote the IAASS and the ISSF, and their initiatives. Written by space safety specialists and by professional scientific journalists, the magazine targets the wider audience of those who have an interest, need or simple curiosity to know the current developments in the field of space safety and sustainability.

Andrea has even offered to mentor a White Label Space team members interested to bring some of his high-quality blogging and publishing know-how to the White Label Space blog. We are currently looking for volunteers interested to work with Andrea's to support and enhance this White Label Space blog.


Oct 24, 2011

WLS Japan Engineering Meeting

The White Label Space Japan (WLS-J) team has started recruiting engineers to support the construction of a second rover prototype that will be dedicated to promotional activities such as the upcoming "Rover Challenge", a series of field demonstrations at famous Japanese sights.

The photos below show some of the action from the first engineering meeting.

The meeting included discussions about the specifications for the next prototype (no major modifications are foreseen) and the planning for the engineering work that needs to take place. The next step will be to agree on the form of the new WLS-J engineering unit that will be responsible for the new prototype's production and later the rover flight model for our GLXP mission.

From around March next year the new prototype will be available for the Rover Challenge promotional tour.

The existing rover prototype will remain with Tohoku University for further developments.

WLS-J is steadily growing, and has started to expand its weekly meetings in Tokyo into dedicated sub-teams covering issues such as promotion, business development and legal.


Oct 11, 2011

Article by UK Institution of Engineering and Technology

E & T Magazine, the official publication of the UK's Institution of Engineering and Technology, has published this article about the White Label Space GLXP team.

The article includes comments from White Label Space Chairman, Andrew Barton, as well as some general information about the team's links to the UK.

The article was published in the "Students and Early Career" section of the E & T magazine, and makes special mention of the opportunities for students in the UK to get involved in the GLXP through the White Label Space team.