A satellite has sent models of anime characters into space in celebration of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Two figures from the popular Japanese science fiction anime, "Mobile Suit Gundam" were sent to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX/Dragon cargo flight from Cape Canaveral in Florida, as reported by Kyodo News.
It will reach the space station on March 9.
The satellite will then be released into its own orbit in late April and will go round the earth during the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, the first time a satellite will be used to celebrate the Games.
According to organisers, the satellite, which features with an electronic bulletin board and seven small cameras, will send back images of the model robots and messages displayed in English, French and Japanese.
The initiative is part of the Tokyo 2020 One Team project, launched in collaboration with the University of Tokyo and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.
The space station will also play a part in the Olympic and Paralympic Torch Relays.
Japanese astronauts Soichi Noguchi and Akihiko Hoshide are due to send messages to the torchbearers from orbit.