In case you were wondering when privatized spaceflight would see the first commercialization of the moon, we can now answer that question — it’s coming in 2015. Sigh.
Japanese beverage maker Otsuka is teaming up with Pittsburgh-based Astrobotic Technology to drop a 1-kilogram titanium can filled with the company’s powdered sports drink Pocari Sweat (and a few other things) on the moon, as part of the first planned private mission to the moon. The capsule will be powered by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket.
The event will also mark the first time a commercial item have been delivered to another celestial body for marketing purposes. Along with the promo stuff, the package also includes wishes from children across Asia etched onto silver disks. The mission is currently scheduled for October 2015.
According to The Verge, the company says the stunt is meant to inspire young people to become astronauts and spark new excitement for space exploration. Plus sell some powdered sports drink, of course.
In addition to the obvious advertising implications, the exercise will also give Astrobotic a chance to show they can handle a mission this specialized, since they’re vying for Google's Lunar X prize, a $20 million payday for the first company to land a device on the moon that can travel 500 meters on the surface and transmit high-definition pictures back to Earth.
The company charged Otsuka half a million dollars for its can to hitch a ride, and those funds will apparently be used to bankroll the Lunar X initiative.
(Via The Verge)