The space race between Virgin Galactic's Richard Branson and Amazon's Jeff Bezos might have reached its peak on 11 July, but 7-Eleven is throwing its hat in the ring by launching its 7-Eleven Slurpee out of the earth's atmosphere in August. According to the company, this will be done via a private space flight commissioned by 7-Eleven to celebrate its 94th birthday and is also a nod to its delivery service.
The brand is allowing fans to choose their favourite flavour to make the trip. 7-Eleven will add up the totals of all the Slurpee flavours ordered by customers through the end of July via 7-Eleven Delivery in the 7-Eleven app, and the most popular choice will fill the cups that go to space. Only a very few exclusive commemorative Slurpee cups depicting the galaxy will make the stratospheric trip. The brand will then hand out the exclusive cups to selected fans as a "Slurpee in Space" memento. At the same time, a commemorative mural will also be commissioned ad the launch location.
The Slurpee drinks will lift off from a 7-Eleven store in Michigan, which is also the US state that consumes the most Slurpee drinks, according to the brand. Marissa Jarratt, 7-Eleven SVP and CMO, said: "In the spirit of Taking it to Eleven for our birthday month, we are delivering our beloved Slurpee to space and bringing our customers along for the journey – after all, what is more far out than outer space?"
Meanwhile, Branson made headlines this week for not only making it to the edge of space but also beating fellow billionaire Bezos in the space race. According to CNBC, Branson called the feat the "complete experience of a lifetime" after nearly 17 years of development. This was reportedly Virgin Galactic's fourth spaceflight, its second in 2021 and its first carrying more than one passenger, CNBC said. Virgin Galactic aims to launch commercial services next year. Shortly after the successful flight, Virgin Galactic's shares dropped 17.3% after it filed to sell up to US$500 million in common stock, CNBC said.
Separately, Japanese lunar exploration startup ispace plans to land on the moon next year as it begins the assembly of the flight model for its lunar lander. This first mission by ispace is part of the company’s commercial lunar exploration program known as HAKUTO-R, which consists of ispace’s first two lunar missions. According to Reuters in 2018, ispace raised US$90 million from investors including dentsu, a state-backed fund and telco KDDI Corp.
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