TOKYO >> If all goes according to plan, Gundam robots will be sending messages of support to athletes competing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics — from space.
The Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the University of Tokyo recently announced a plan to launch a micro-satellite carrying model robots from the popular anime “Mobile Suit Gundam.”
The 12-inch-tall satellite being developed by the University of Tokyo will be carried on a cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station about March. It will then be released into space from Japan’s experimental module Kibo.
After the release, the models of Gundam and his enemy Zaku, with electronic bulletin-board messages attached to their feet, will be visible within the satellite.
The messages, together with the models’ images, will be captured by the satellite’s camera. These are expected to be transmitted 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 Olympic champion Koji Murofushi, sports director for the organizing committee. “The support from outer space will also encourage athletes.”