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 after Otsuka, the Japanese company that produces the energy drink Pocari Sweat, announced their intention of sending a can of their famed beverage to Earth’s closest neighbor.
Collaborating with SpaceX and Astrobotic, Pocari Sweat will be one of the items aboard a lunar rover scheduled to arrive on the moon in the second half of next year. Drawing on the potential for advertising in space, Astrobotic is noting that it offers reasonable prices for transporting products into the heavens above. A mere $1.2 million per kilogram lets you blast a product into orbit. While this is outside the price range of most people, that is a drop in the bucket for advertising and marketing companies. To put that cost in perspective, a thirty second commercial during the 2015 Super Bowl cost $4.5 million.
With that price point in their head for comparison, the executives overseeing the Pocari Sweat ad on the moon decided they had to make this an event worthy of recording in the historical annals of Earth. To help with this, they hired an advertising firm that created a specially-designed can to survive the rigors of space travel and the unforgiving environment of the moon.
The pressures that would be experienced by a liquid-filled can of Pocari Sweat on the moon were too great, so the special astronaut blend will be powdered. This is only fitting since Tang gained popularity after its use by earlier NASA astronauts. The can contains more than just powder, however, and its design reinforces that its creators are looking toward the future. On top of the Pocari Sweat can is something known as the Dream Capsule. It will have a key hole that can only be opened by someone possessing a Dream Key. Dreams Keys were given to children who submitted their visions of the future to be engraved on a special message plate within the can of Pocari Sweat. All of this begs the question that, if only special keys can open the can, what if a future astronaut did not make a submission? Will they be forced to go thirsty on the moon?!
This question leads us to our last point. You might be thinking, ‘Hey, that’s great that they’re putting this can of powdered energy drink mix on the moon. But where’s the water coming from to mix that drink?’ Why thank you for asking. Future astronauts will need to supply their own stash of water so that they can taste that sweet, sweet Pocari Sweat, but if NASA has anything to say about it, that water will be mined from the moon itself.
These next few years are going to be a strange mixture of weird, fascinating, terrifying, and exciting times all wrapped up in one space-ready can.