One Giant Leap For Can Kind: Japan Sending Pocari Sweat To The Moon
The makers of oddly-named Japanese sports drink Pocari Sweat have committed themselves to achieving the goal, before 2015 is out, of landing a can on the moon. The “LUNAR DREAM CAPSULE PROJECT” picks up where Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co.'s previous effort at winning the sports drink space race (sending Pocari Sweat to the ISS in 2001) left off.
Current plans are for a specially designed can of Pocari Sweat powder to be placed aboard a private venture's moon-bound rocket scheduled to lift off in October of 2015. If all goes well, the can will be deposited on the lunar surface by the mission's lander.
Deposited yes, returned no... this is a one-way trip for the plucky can, its ion-supply-boosting contents, and a plaque micro-engraved with the hopes and wishes of 38,000 children. Check out the English-subtitled official video here.
It should be stated that cans of Pocari Sweat sold in countless Japanese vending machines are ready-to-drink, having been pre-mixed with water at an Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. production plant. That's fine for Earth but it won't work on the moon, and not only because our orbiting companion doesn't have any vending machines... yet.
Technicians have crafted a super space can made of titanium that's designed to withstand the lunar surface's extreme temperatures: scorching days at 110 degrees alternating with frigid nights as low as minus 180 degrees. Don't try squashing this can against your forehead, Bluto.
Future thirsty astronauts fresh out of Tang won't simply be able to crack open a cold Pocari either, at least not until they've dug up some primeval moon water to mix the powder with. Mmm, moon water...
The latter sparked the genesis of the whole idea: when American scientists analyzed the results of recent robotic moon missions and determined the moon likely harbored significant stores of ice in shadowed polar regions, the boffins at Otsuka Pharmaceutical's Pocari Sweat division looked at each other and asked, “are you thinking what I'm thinking?”
Now some of you might take this news with some trepidation... haven't we already tossed enough cans, bottles, cups and other drink containers onto pristine wilderness areas? Fear not, an Otsuka Pharmaceutical official reassures us.
“We want our use of the moon to set an example,” and although there are currently no laws or regulations regarding the use of the lunar surface, “We will not damage the lunar environment.” In other words... don't sweat it. (via 3Yen and Asahi Shimbun)