Hot on the heels of releasing the first wave of tickets for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the organisers have just announced an amazing and ambitious initiative: they will be launching two robot models, Gundam and Char’s Zaku, from the hit anime series ‘Mobile Suit Gundam’ into space. Gundam is one of the most internationally popular Japanese anime franchises. Moreover, the series has become synonymous with the mecha genre through its 40-year history.
According to The Japan Times, the iconic robots will enter Earth’s orbit ‘aboard a satellite that will broadcast message of support to athletes’. The Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, which are set to begin on July 24 2020, are shaping up to be one of the most exciting and groundbreaking Games in recent history.
This project is a massive collaboration involving the Tokyo 2020 Games committee, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, University of Tokyo and three companies from Fukui prefecture. The 30cm-long, 10cm-wide micro-satellite (named the ‘G-Satellite’) will head for the International Space Station in March next year, and from there it will be launched into orbit, deploying the robots plus an electronic bulletin board. Yes, the robots will have to be resized to fit the tiny capsule satellite.
The satellite will be circling Earth throughout the Games’ duration and carrying out three important functions: broadcasting images of the planet taken from the seven cameras onboard; displaying encouraging and congratulatory messages; and of course, filming the Gundam robots in space.