Organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games announced plans Wednesday to launch robots from the “Mobile Suit Gundam” anime series into space aboard a satellite that will broadcast messages of support to athletes.
In the project, conducted in collaboration with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and the University of Tokyo, two 10-centimeter models depicting Gundam and Char’s Zaku robots from the animation series will be sent into orbit on a 30-cm long, 10-cm wide microsatellite.
The “G Satellite,” with an electronic bulletin board for displaying messages, will be sent to the International Space Station aboard a supply ship next March and later launched from the ISS.
After the satellite enters the Earth’s orbit, it will deploy the robots and the bulletin board. The organizers of the project will then share images taken with an onboard camera, including congratulatory messages in multiple languages, with athletes through social media and other outlets.
At an event announcing the project in Tokyo, JAXA astronaut Norishige Kanai, who returned from the ISS last June, drew parallels between the space program and the Olympics.
“Like the Olympics, people are excited by space exploration regardless of their country or place of origin,” said Kanai, who added that he is also a fan of the “Gundam” series.