" means "white rabbit" in Japanese. In legendary folklore in Japan, it is said that a white rabbit lives on the Moon. This was the inspiration for the name HAKUTO
, one of the 5 finalists in the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition—a race for the first private lunar exploration mission.
Managed by ispace, and supported by sponsors, a passionate crew of volunteers, a large fan club in Japan, HAKUTO
competed in the race for the greater part of the past decade. In 2015, the team achieved a $500,000 milestone prize, and in 2017, it completed and delivered a flight-ready rover to its launch location. However, since ispace relied on a partner for the lander and launch, which were not fulfilled, and as no other contestants were capable of completing the mission, the competition ended in March 2018 without a winner. As a result, Team HAKUTO
Now, six months later, ispace has brought back the "HAKUTO
" name as the Program Name for its first two lunar missions. Thus, the "R" stands for "Reboot" in the spirit of reenergizing our motivation and drive toward our goal. As an evolution of the HAKUTO
logo, the HAKUTO-R logo combines the concepts of a lunar orbit and the Moon's surface, which together forms the design of a white rabbit similar in shape to an "H" for HAKUTO