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15MAY 2014

VOL.51

  • Japan

Accepting Children's Dreams to be Sent to the Moon!

Six children who wrote their messages to be sent to the moon, with (left) Ms. Naoko Yamazaki (Astronaut) & (right) Ms. Aya Terakawa (Swimmer)

POCARI SWEAT is set to becoming the first beverage to land on the moon

The "LUNAR DREAM CAPSULE PROJECT" is an attempt to land a probe on the moon surface for the first time solely by the efforts of private companies. We have entered an era where space travel, which used to be only feasible at the national project level, can be handled by private companies.

Children! Submit your dreams here to be sent to the moon on the DREAM CAPSULE!

http://lunar-dream.com/en/join/

The goal is not to just send a drink to the moon. The objective of this project is to inspire young people who become interested in the moon or outer space through this project to go and retrieve the DREAM CAPSULE by themselves in the near future, drink the POCARI SWEAT mixed with the water found on the moon and bring their dreams contained in the capsule back home.

Mr. Masayuki Umeno, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co.,
Ltd. vice president, holding the DREAM CAPSULE

Mr. Masayuki Umeno, Vice President of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. talked about his passion for the project, "Otsuka Pharmaceutical has continued its research into 'water' that is close to human body fluid for many years. Based on the research findings, Otsuka released POCARI SWEAT in 1980. In 2013, when we heard the news from NASA that there is water on the moon, I decided to participate in this project."

The messages to be put inside the capsule are dreams of children gathered from visits to primary schools in and out of Japan.

The drink will be in powder form and stored inside a special titanium can that weighs 1,000g and looks like a regular POCARI SWEAT can.

To continuously endure the harsh environment of the moon where the temperature shifts from minus 170℃ at night to 110℃ during the day, the capsule was developed specifically for this project.

Mr. Nobu Okada, CEO of ASTROSCALE PTE. Ltd., who is in charge of the design and overall technological management of the DREAM CAPSULE, explained the structure of the capsule.

"Small- and medium-sized companies in Japan have remarkable technological capabilities, and are joining all their forces for this project. To bring something to outer space, it is necessary to take into account the vibrations of the rocket, differences in gravity, the vacuum of space, radiation and other influential factors, including the blue color of the DREAM CAPSULE. Due to the difficulty in carrying a colored component into outer space, conventional rockets and artificial satellites have not been color-coated. Nevertheless, with this project, making use of their wisdom and technology, Japanese small- and medium-sized companies have successfully developed a special blue dye, which has passed tests run by NASA."

The global team of private companies spearheading the LUNAR DREAM CAPSULE PROJECT, including the POCARI SWEAT team

Astrobotic Technology Inc., the developer of the lander that will carry the DREAM CAPSULE filled with dreams and technologies to the moon, is a US-based company that delivers affordable space robotics technology and planetary missions.

The company's CEO, Mr. John Thornton, explained the exploration plan, "From Florida, the lunar lander 'GRIFFIN' will be launched with the rocket, which will arrive at the moon about four days later. After orbiting the moon at an altitude of approximately 100 km, the lander will make a soft landing on the surface of the moon."

"The landing spot on the moon (LACUS MORTIS) is a unique area where there may be a network of underground caves. Such geographical features were discovered by Japan's lunar probe KAGUYA. The GRIFFIN will land near the spot and certainly deliver your messages to the moon," said Mr. Thornton.

Mr. Masazumi Gotoda, Senior Vice-Minister of Cabinet Office

Mr. Masazumi Gotoda, Senior Vice-Minister of the Cabinet Office in charge of the national space policy, shared his view about this privately funded project.

"This is actually a project that should be conducted by the national government. I would like to express my sincere respect and gratitude to the project organizers."

"The LUNAR DREAM CAPSULE PROJECT involves various aspects, such as technologies, a shift from government to private initiatives, participation of small- and medium-sized companies, and educational issues. Under the leadership of the minister, we will also aggressively promote Japan's space policy through close public-private partnerships. I wish this project great success, and hope that humanity will enjoy prosperity in the near future, when some of us land on the moon to retrieve the capsule."

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