TOKYO — The makers of Japan’s favorite instant ramen noodles will soon be airing a commercial that’s truly out of this world.
Starting next month, Nissin Food Products Co. will film a promotional spot on the international space station for Cup Noodle, featuring a sales pitch by a hungry Russian cosmonaut.
The commercial will air in Japan in November as part of Nissin’s “Cup Noodle No Border” campaign, according to a statement Wednesday by Japan’s space program, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA.
Space Films, a venture business set up by JAXA that specializes in space images, will send a high-definition camera to the space station aboard a Russian rocket launch Oct. 1 and direct the filming from Russia’s Mission Control Center outside Moscow, JAXA said.
The project is part of Japan’s push to develop commercial spin-offs to its space program. JAXA did not say how much the commercial would cost, but the agency will be leaving the camera at the space station in the hope of shooting more advertisements.
Noodles in space
This is not Osaka-based Nissin’s first encounter with the final frontier. In 2002, it announced plans to make “Space Ram,” a ramen noodle that homesick Japanese astronauts can eat in zero gravity.
Nissin — which incidentally also makes U.F.O. brand instant noodles — is credited with revolutionizing the world’s eating habits when chairman Momofuku Ando invented the instant noodle in 1958.
The company is now the world’s biggest maker of the instant noodles, selling 20 billion packs a year. Japan wolfed down 5.4 billion of those in 2003, or about 42 packs for every man, woman and child.
JAXA expects high demand for its remote-controlled space camera from companies looking for extraterrestrial publicity and from educators and broadcasters looking for unique pictures of outer space or shots of Earth.
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