Japan Plans First Lunar Billboard

Japan Plans First Lunar Billboard

Japan has announced plans to become the first country to advertise on the moon.

According to UPI, Japanese company Otsuka plans to send a 2.2 pound titanium can to the moon that will act as a miniature billboard. The can will be filled with Pocari Sweat Powder, which turns into a sports drink when water is added. Otsuka said it hopes to inspire people to travel the almost 250 thousand miles to the moon and be the first to add water to the cannister, creating a well-deserved refreshment after the long journey.

“Otsuka hopes that one day youths interested in space will live out their dreams, collect the DREAM CAPSULE and drink the POCARI SWEAT mixed with the water found on the moon,” said the press release.

The can is expected to hit the lunar surface via the Falcon 9 spacecraft, which was designed by SpaceX under billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk.

The capsule will be engraved with messages from Japanese schoolchildren, stored as data on 120 titanium plates.

Pittsburgh based Astrobotic Technologies’ Griffin Lander has been designated as the Japanese companies’ delivery vehicle for the cannister. Astrobotic also has an extra incentive to successfully deliver the cannister, as they are competing for the Google LunarX prize. Google has put a 20 million dollar bounty on the table for the first company to be able to land a device on the moon and then successfully transmit pictures back to Earth.

The capsule has been specifically designed to deal with the drastic shifts in the environment and temperature on the moon. It has been built to survive temperatures as low as negative 338 degree fahrenheit weather at night, to 220 degrees fahrenheit during the day.

Otsuka has set a firm target date of October 2015 for the capsule’s estimated launch. The Japanese sports drink company plans on using a launchpad from Florida to embark on its mission. “Until now, the space travel was only possible at a national project level,” said a company spokesperson.

American-made fruit-flavored drink Tang has been the drink of choice for astronauts on many previous NASA Mercury and Gemini missions. However, it is uncertain whether Tang was brought out on the lunar surface, which would ultimately usurp Otsuka’s claim.

Otsuka is a public company based in Tokyo, Japan. The company employs over 25,000 people. Its most popular items are sports drink Pocari Sweat and energy drink Oronamin C.