We all know who was the first man on the moon. But what about being the first ad on the moon? Well, Japanese beverage-maker Otsuka Pharmaceutical is planning to turn infinity and beyond into the final frontier... of advertising.
Otsuka is working hand in hand with Elon Musk’s SpaceX to choreograph the stunt. It involves launching a one-kilogram titanium can that's partially filled with powdered Pocari Sweat—a Japanese sports drink. The whole thing would be a part of the first private moon landing mission, currently scheduled to take place in October 2015.
Oh, and there's something else worth mentioning: The can is going to be filled with the dreams of children... literally.
Children across Asia sent Otsuka letters containing their dreams and wishes, which will be engraved on disks and placed inside the can. Each child will be given something called a Dream Key. It's a tool that can unlock the can, known as the Dream Capsule, once civilian space travel becomes a reality.
Not only will whoever opens the can get an interesting look at life in 21st-century Asia, but in Otsuka's words they could theoretically use "moon water" to mix together a refreshing, ambiguously citrusy beverage.
Otsuka states that this is meant to inspire children to become astronauts, but there’s more at stake than the hearts and minds of the next generation’s space travelers.
The Pocari Sweat can is going to be delivered by the Griffin lander, a product of Pittsburgh-based Astrobotic Technology that's being funded in part by Otsuka. The launch is estimated to cost half a million dollars, and will be part of an attempt to win Google’s 20-million-dollar Lunar X prize.
To win, a company has to land a device on the moon that can also travel at least 500 meters and send high-definition pictures back to Earth. Should Astrobotic win the prize, it could put the funds toward improving its primary goal of cleaning up space trash.
Maybe you're scratching your head right now and asking, “Wait, what about Tang?” If so, consider this: Tang was indeed sent to the moon multiple times, and became a household brand on the strength of its association with NASA. But there’s some doubt as to whether or not it made it to the actual surface.
Now it's up to Pocari Sweat to go where no soft drink has gone before.