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Hakuto (ハクト)[1] or formerly White Label Space (ホワイトレーベルスペース) is a Japanese team formed in early 2008 by a group of experienced space professionals inspired by the challenge of the Google Lunar X PRIZE. Hakuto is named after the white rabbit in Japanese mythology. The team is financing its lunar mission from advertising expenditure of large global companies.[2][full citation needed] The team leader is Takeshi Hakamada, and their lunar rover is named Sorato.[3] Launch is planned for 2020 on the Peregrine lander by Astrobotic Technology, to be launched on an Atlas V rocket.[4]


In 2008, White Label Space was founded in the Netherlands. In 2009, the team registered with the Google Lunar X PRIZE.[5] On September 10, 2010 the team also established White Label Space Japan LLC, a Limited Liability Company registered in Japan.[6][full citation needed] On June 11, 2012, it was decided to name unit 2 Rover prototype (PM-2) "White Rabbit" (「はくと」).[5] On January 30, 2013, When the European teammates dropped out, the Japan-based members continued the work and changed their name to team Hakuto, and re-named their parent company ispace Inc.[7] The change included a change of leadership from Steve Allen to co-founder Takeshi Hakamada, who has been leading operations in Japan.[8][9] On July 15, 2013 the team officially changed the team name to Hakuto (「ハクト」).[1] On December 4, 2013, the team successfully crowd-funded the development of unit 3 Rover prototype (PM-3).[5] On February 19, 2014, Hakuto was nominated to the Milestone Prize, as one of five teams, in the mobility subsystem section.[10]

The rover is planned to be deployed in 2020 from the Peregrine lander, and a second rover mission, Hakuto-R is scheduled to launch in mid-2021.[11]


The team is based in Japan and is led by Takeshi Hakamada. The lead engineer is Kazuya Yoshida, a professor of aerospace engineering at Tohoku University in Japan. Hakuto is operated by ispace Inc.[12] and is supported by the Space Robotics Lab of Tohoku University.[13]


As of January 2008, the team had nine official partners:[14][needs update]

  • Advanced Operations and Engineering Services (AOES Group BV) - an international engineering services and consultancy provider providing specialist support for design and analysis tasks related to the structures, thermal and propulsion subsystems of the Lander and Rover
  • The Swiss Propulsion Laboratory - developing a low-cost engine for the landing stage of the White Label Space mission using its in-house rocket motor test bench
  • Tohoku University Space Robotics Laboratory - designing the Moon rover for the mission
  • Airborne Composites BV - a developer of advanced composite products and technologies for space and other industries, and will provide lightweight high performance composite structures for the mission
  • Emxys - a designer and manufacturer of instrumentation and control embedded electronic systems for science and industry markets [15][16]
  • Space Technology Group at the Technical University of Munich
  • LunarNumbat - a team of Australians and New Zealanders who are using Open Source technologies to develop new software and electronic hardware in support of the White Label Space mission
  • Wrocław University of Technology - developer of aerospace communications equipment
  • JAQAR Space Engineering - the partner for orbital design and mission analysis


In December, 2016 Hakuto decided to share some costs with Team Indus and launch their two rovers together on the proven PSLV launcher of ISRO. The launch was initially scheduled for 28 December 2017,[17] and then delayed to March 2018.[3] The media reported in 9 January 2018 that ISRO cancelled the launch contract with TeamIndus and Hakuto.[18]

On January 23, 2018, X Prize founder and chairman Peter Diamandis stated "After close consultation with our five finalist Google Lunar X Prize teams over the past several months, we have concluded that no team will make a launch attempt to reach the moon by the March 31, 2018, deadline... and the US$30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE will go unclaimed."[19]

In April 2018, it was reported that launch is now planned for 2020 on the Peregrine lander by Astrobotic, to be launched on an Atlas V rocket.[4] Sorato rover will be deployed on the lunar surface along with other smaller rovers, including Chile's Team AngelicvM's rover, and a set of mini-rovers from the Mexican Space Agency.[4] The selected landing site is Lacus Mortis.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Announcement: New Team Name is "HAKUTO" Google Lunar X PRIZE, July 15, 2013
  2. ^ White Label Space team page on the Google Lunar X PRIZE site
  3. ^ a b Japanese team competing in lunar probe contest to delay launch. Japan Times. 8 November 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d Astrobiotic Ready to Become Delivery Service to the Moon. Michael Coli, Spaceflight Insider. 19 March 2018.
  5. ^ a b c History Archived 2014-08-26 at the Wayback Machine. team Hakuto, 2014
  6. ^ WLS Japanese Office Open for Business, 9 September 2010
  7. ^ The Japanese Space Bots That Could Build Moon Valley. Sarah Scoles, Wired. 14 May 2018.
  8. ^ White Label Space Moves Full Operations to Japan team White Label Space
  9. ^ チーム体制変更のお知らせ team Hakuto, 2013.1.30
  10. ^ Japan's Hakuto was selected for Milestone Prizes finalists! Google Lunar X PRIZE, February 28, 2014
  11. ^ Pietrobon, Steven (December 8, 2018). "United States Commercial ELV Launch Manifest". Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  12. ^ About Us
  13. ^ About Hakuto Team Haruko, January, 2014
  14. ^ White Label Space Official Partners Page, 2008-01-01.
  15. ^ Emxys - New Partner for Electronic Systems, 27 November 2009
  16. ^ Emxys - New Partner for Electronic Systems Google Lunar X PRIZE, November 27, 2009
  17. ^ 15 Air and Space Missions We're Excited for In 2018 Popular Mechanics 6 January 2017
  18. ^ Google Lunar Xprize: ISRO Calls Off Contract With TeamIndus. 9 January 2018.
  19. ^ https://www.space.com/39467-google-lunar-xprize-moon-race-ends.html Ex-Prize: Google's $30 Million Moon Race Ends with No Winner]. Mike Wall, Space]]. 23 January 2018.

External links[edit]