It’s one small step for commerce, one giant leap for advertising. Next year, Japanese soft drink company Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co plans to drop a specially made can of its signature drink, Pocari Sweat, on to the surface of the moon.
Most people outside of Asia are unfamiliar with Pocari Sweat, a sports drink that tastes like Gatorade and resembles, well, sweat. But that might change soon now.
The company hopes to get the can to the lunar surface with the help of American company Astrobotic Technology’s Griffin Lander, an autonomous lunar rover set to launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon9 rocket in 2016. The lander was originally built by a team competing for the Google Lunar X Prize against other privately funded lunar rover specialists.
The Lunar Dream’s titanium can, topped with a custom titanium opener, will be made in Japan and Singapore. It features a vacuum sealed powdered mixture of the Pocari Sweat drink that will last for over 30 years. Not too bad for space, but we’re assuming the regular stuff on terra firma has a three-decade shelf life too. The mixture will ostensibly be left for astronauts to mix with water molecules culled from the lunar surface. The result? The perfect drink to enjoy after a hike over lunar regolith.
But don’t feel left out, the can will also feature random space messages from people around the world that will be etched into the capsule’s base plate using lasers. You can text the company your own message telling whoever will drink this stuff to enjoy it. Or not, it’s your message.
As seen in some promotional videos—where one can also see an accredited professor of robotics say “Pocari Sweat”—the can will be decorated with the drink’s logo using a colour anodising process that electrochemically embeds colour into aluminium in such a way that it can survive the harsh lunar environment.
The moon-landing project is inspired by a shocking founding in 2013 when water was discovered on the moon suggesting possibility for human habitat. That sheds a light on Otsuka’s mission to make Pocari Sweat a health drink for consumption in space.
The Otsuka Pharmaceutical family believes travelling to space will become popular in the near future or a few decades later. The brand is embarking on a mission that, by the time when the concept of space habitat becomes reality, human beings can have Pocari Sweat to drink up on the moon.
People are willing to pay millions of dollars for rare bottles of wine or champagne, but how much would you pay to be the first person to taste a beverage that sat on the moon for decades? That is a question that future astronauts will have to decide among themselves.