Gundam robots to offer intergalactic support to Tokyo Games

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Koji Murofushi, sports director for the Tokyo Games organizing committee, right, speaks during a press conference in Tokyo on Wednesday next to a JAXA employee, with a Gundam model in the background.

The Yomiuri ShimbunGundam robots in outer space will be sending messages of support to athletes competing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, if all goes according to plan.

The Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the University of Tokyo announced Wednesday a plan to launch a micro-satellite carrying model robots from the popular anime “Mobile Suit Gundam.”

The 30-centimeter high, 10-centimeter-square satellite being developed by the University of Tokyo will be carried on a cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station around March. It will then be released into space from Japan’s experimental module Kibo on the ISS.

After the release, within the satellite the models of Gundam and his enemy Zaku with electronic bulletin boards attached to their feet to display messages will be seen. The messages together with the models’ images will be captured by the satellite’s camera. These are expected to be transmitted on an as needed basis from April through Sept. 6, when the Paralympic Games come to a close.

“Bringing in outer space will increase the scale of the global-level Games,” said former Japanese Olympian Koji Murofushi, sports director for the organizing committee. “The support from outer space will also encourage athletes.”Speech

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