While the TV show “Mad Men” shows what the advertising business was like at the time of the first moon landing in 1969, a Japanese company today wants to be the first to land an advertising billboard on the moon. Is no place safe from commercialism?
The pharmaceutical company and beverage maker Otsuka wants to put a specialized titanium can with the company logo prominently displayed on the moon as a miniature billboard for future moon walkers. The 2.2 pound canister will contain Pocari Sweat (sounds yummy) , a powder that creates a non-carbonated citrus beverage when mixed with water.
Otsuka has contracted with SpaceX to deliver the canned ad on a planned Falcon 9 mission to the moon scheduled for October 2015. Once in lunar orbit, the Falcon 9 will drop a “Griffin” lander made by the private company Astrobotic Technology to the surface where it deposit the Sweat can.
Otsuka is calling this the Lunar Dream Project and the can a Lunar Dream Capsule because it will contain dreams contributed by children around the world and written in titanium plates. The can is designed to survive for 30 years, enough time for someone from Earth to return to the moon, open the Dream Capsule with a Dream Ring key, read the dreams and use water from the moon to reconstitute and drink the Pocari Sweat. Is this the best use we can up with for lunar water?
OK, the original lunar missions could be viewed as ads for American space superiority and I’m sure the stuff left up there had labels with the names of their manufacturers. But is it right to turn the moon into just another NASCAR vehicle, going around and around ad infinitum for the sole purpose of burning brands into our brains? When the moon hits your eye like a big ad for pizza pie, the amore is over.