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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Pocari Sweat In Space

A Japanese company seeks to create a lunar billboard for its sports drink with a very expensive ad on the moon.

While I'm unsure about the legalities of placing advertisements on Luna (the name of Earth's moon), I'm still a little upset about the choice of beverage that is attempting to be the first sports or soft drink on the moon.

Japan's Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. are looking to launch a 'time capsule' can of its Pocari Sweat sports drink to the moon to hopefully be enjoyed by astronauts at some future and as yet undetermined point in time.

Pocari Sweat... not my favorite Japanese drink by a long-shot... but maybe that's because I didn't do a lot of sports while in Japan for three years. I mean, should a sports drink taste better if you do sports?

I only did kyudo (Japanese archery), ran 10 kilometers a night, rode my bicycle everywhere, did judo, kendo, soccer, baseball, softball, and sweat up a storm with loads of lengthy sex with various girlfriends and "girl friends"of differing nationalities... so I suppose it is possible I didn't work up enough of a sports sweat to fully appreciate the taste 'sensation' of Pocari Sweat. My bad.

The 'time capsule' will contain the Pocari Sweat beverage, which will be flown to the surface of Luna by Astrobotic Technology's Griffin lander, itself launching aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in late 2016.

Called the 'Lunar Dream' capsule, it will contain titanium plates engraved with messages submitted by people from around the world, as well as a serving of powdered Pocari Sweat.

Powdered - not a liquid - so it won't explode or freeze.

The hope is that one day when future explorers once more go to the moon, they can pop open the can and have a Pocari Sweat after mixing the beverage powder with water sourced from the moon.

Water sourced from the moon? The moon is supposed to have frozen water at the polar caps, but perhaps future astronauts will have better luck after terraforming the surface and creating water farms et al.

Astrobotic chairman and chief science officer Red Whittaker says via a promotional video that, "I have had the greatest privilege of technology missions and ventures, but this one — for the moon landing with Pocari Sweat—is really about the new generation that comes up and the opportunity for everyone, however young, to involve, engage and have the experience of a lifetime."

Surely this might be the world's most expensive drink if it was on this world, however financial terms were not discussed in great detail, though a careful perusal of the Astrobotics website says it charges US$1.2 million per kilogram (2.2 pounds) to ferry payloads to the moon.

Otsuka Pharmaceutical is working with Singapore-based aerospace company Astroscale to design the beverage capsule to not only survive the launch and space trip, but also the environment of the lunar surface.

Astrosbotic is competing in the Google Lunar X prize, which offers US$30million in prizes to rocket scientists in an effort to kickstart private space exploration.

The contest offers US$20 million for the first team to land a rover on the moon, have it travel a minimum of 500 meters (1,650 feet) and send back High-Definition video and images before the end of 2017.

The second team to succeed will win $5 million. The remaining $5 million in prizes is to any team meeting various milestones first.

At this time, there are 16 private teams vying for the prizes.

As for the Pocari Sweat titanium plates engraved with messages, you can submit a message by clicking HERE.

Blasting off! Andrew Joseph
PS: Image above is courtesy of The Lunar Dream Capsule Project and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co.
PPS: Thanks, Matthew, for the heads up on this one!

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