Astrobotic Enables Otsuka’s “Lunar Dream”
Astrobotic’s mission to Lacus Mortis is aiming for several firsts – first demonstration of autonomous precision landing within 100m, first flyover and circumnavigation of a lunar skylight, first winner of the Google Lunar XPRIZE, and now, delivery of the first marketing campaign to the Moon. Astrobotic is taking Otsuka Pharmaceutical’s “Lunar Dream” time capsule as a payload on its inaugural mission. The Japanese beverage maker plans to send their powdered sports drink, Pocari Sweat, along with the dreams and wishes of children from around the globe, to the surface of the Moon. The “Lunar Dream” time capsule is a titanium Pocari Sweat can constructed by Singapore-based Astroscale, a start-up with a mission to remove space debris. The can will contain 120 titanium plates laser-engraved with handwritten dreams submitted by children from Asia and elsewhere. The can will also contain a powder that, when combined with water, becomes a serving of Pocari Sweat. This shipment will be the first commercial product delivered to another world for marketing purposes. Otsuka “hopes the stunt will inspire young people to become astronauts, so they can travel the 380,000 kilometers to our closest celestial neighbor, crack open the can, and consume the powder inside.” Children’s messages can be submitted through the Lunar Dream Website through May 2015. Astrobotic will deposit the time capsule when it lands at Lacus Mortis (Latin for “Lake of Death”), a plain of basaltic lava flows in the northeast part of the Moon that contains a lunar pit that is a suspected skylight.