That's one small bottle of sports drink, one giant leap for marketing agencies.
A contender for the first private lunar lander could be carrying a bottle of a popular Japanese beverage. An aerospace robotics firm, Astrobotic, announced this week it would carry a bottle of "Pocari Sweat" sports drink aboard a rocket to the moon as early as October 2015.
The Pittsburgh-based company is one of many teams competing in the Google Lunar XPrize - a $40 million race for private companies to land unmanned vehicles on the moon. Half the sum will be awarded to the first successful touchdown.
Eighteen teams remain in the competition but Astrobotic has the earliest scheduled launch date, meaning the first non-government spacecraft to touch down on an extraterrestrial world could double as a sports drink advertisement. The beverage will be contained in a time capsule given to Astrobotic by another private space enterprise, Astroscale of Singapore.
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