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Japan to Send Gunpla Models to Space as Part of Promotions for Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Posted in: Anime News

It’s only less than a year until the much-awaited 2020 Olympics, which will be held in Tokyo. As such, preparations are in full swing for the biggest sports event in the world. In past years, common promotions for the Games include the launching of official mascots, theme songs, and the like. As most of us know, however, Japan is no common country—it can even be eccentric at times—and it shows in their chosen way to promote the Olympics.

Just this Wednesday, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA, the Japanese equivalent of NASA) announced that as part of the promotions for the 2020 Olympics, they are planning to launch Gunpla models in space. Yes people, we will be seeing actual Gundams in space—except of course, they are not the colossal ones we see in anime, as JAXA will only be launching Gunpla models.

This project is a collaboration between JAXA and the University of Tokyo, who will develop the “G-SATELLITE”, an ultra-small satellite on which the Gunpla models will be attached. The G-SATELLITE will measure 10 cmx10 cm x 30 cm, the prototype pictured below:

The G-SATELLITE will be mounted with a Gundam model on top and a model of Char Aznable’s Zaku perched in the satellite’s cockpit. According to JAXA, the Gunpla models will be outfitted with special paint and plating to help them withstand the harsh conditions in space. Furthermore, the satellite will be equipped with seven cameras that will capture the satellite’s launch into space and to transmit to Earth the cheering messages that will be displayed at the message board at the foot of the Gunpla models.

The satellite will be released into space from the International Space Station’s Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) between March and April 2020. The G-SATELLITE is part of Japan’s “One Team Project” that aims to promote the 2020 Olympic Games through collaborations with leading Japanese innovators and creators.

Source: Crunchyroll News

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