Space

Lunar Dream Messenger project to land first sports drink on the Moon in 2015

Lunar Dream Messenger project ...
Pocari Sweat plans to land the first commercial sports drink on the Moon in the form of a time capsule
Pocari Sweat plans to land the first commercial sports drink on the Moon in the form of a time capsule
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The Pocari Sweat time capsule will fly in 2015
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The Pocari Sweat time capsule will fly in 2015
Pocari Sweat plans to land the first commercial sports drink on the Moon in the form of a time capsule
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Pocari Sweat plans to land the first commercial sports drink on the Moon in the form of a time capsule
The design of the time capsule
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The design of the time capsule
The Griffin lunar lander that will carry the time capsule (Image: Astrobotic Technology, Inc)
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The Griffin lunar lander that will carry the time capsule (Image: Astrobotic Technology, Inc)
Lacus Mortis as seen from the Clementine space probe (Image: NASA)
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Lacus Mortis as seen from the Clementine space probe (Image: NASA)

Lunar exploration may be an exciting adventure in the conquest of space, but what if you get thirsty? Pocari Sweat is a Japanese sports drink that’s popular in Asia and the Middle East, and as part of its marketing strategy it plans to deliver a can of its product to the lunar surface next year. Designed and constructed by a partnership of companies led by Astroscale Pte. and Otsuka Pharmaceutical, the special can will be delivered to the lunar surface in October, 2015 as part of the payload of the Astrobiotic Technology’s Griffin lander, which is scheduled to touch down in Lacus Mortis region of the Moon.

In fact, the Pocari Sweat Lunar Dream Messenger can isn't really a drink can. It just looks like one. In reality, it’s a specially designed time capsule. Instead of stamped and spun aluminum, the outer casing was turned on a precision lathe by Yuki Precision co. and is sealed with a screw-on lid. This is opened by a titanium ring inserted in a slot on top of the can, which acts as a handle for twisting the top off.

Though this is basically an advertising stunt, the Lunar Dream Messenger can still required some advanced engineering. Because it’s being carried on a spacecraft, it had to undergo outgassing tests to make sure that neither the can or its contents would boil away in the vacuum of space and interfere with the landing craft. It also had to be tested against extreme temperatures and liftoff vibrations.

The design of the time capsule
The design of the time capsule

The can is colored blue, which the production team says is quite challenging since space isn't too friendly toward pigments. The aluminum outer casing had to be specially treated so the blue would be anodized directly into the metal surface.

Inside the canister is a removable stainless steel inner structure holding a stack of titanium discs. The discs have “dreams,” submitted by children all over Asia, laser-etched onto them. Below these is a sealed metal container holding a powdered version of Pocari Sweat. According to the company, the hope is that the time capsule will be opened in in 30 years and the powder will be reconstituted, using water mined from the Moon.

The video below outlines how the time capsule was designed and constructed.

Source: Pocari Sweat via The Verge

6 comments
Joe Strout
That's a cool stunt. I wish them well — and I hope Astrobotic, or *somebody*, actually manages to win the Google Lunar X Prize, even if it is three years past the original deadline. Talk about cutting it close — they're planning to launch in October; if that schedule slips at all, they'll miss it.
Slowburn
After the future astronauts mix the drink mix and taste it they exclaim, "I have been poisoned!!" ;-)
Dominic Ginns
That's all we need, more junk in space.
BigGoofyGuy
While I think that is cool, why would anyone want to drink something with 'sweat' in its name (Pocari Perspiration?). I think it would be cooler if it was a habitat shaped like a giant soda can with the soda company name on the outside. It would be a good way to get sponsorship for trips to the moon and beyond.
butchholland
At least they did not waste all that money on starving Asian kids or anything Humane, They went for starting a new collection of pollution on the moon...Great work
Ed
I love how there is a USA Saturn V rocket behind the first Japanese guy on the shelf...