Technology & Combat Characteristics
Using the GN-000 0 Gundam as a base, the Celestial Being’s Krung Thep engineering team developed four 2nd generation Gundams in 2292 AD to test armaments, equipments, as well as custom machines for live combat. These Gundams also participated in preliminary tests for armed intervention, and later served as the base units for the 3rd generation Gundams. Gundam Astraea is the first of the second generation Gundams to be completed, it is named after the Goddess of Justice depicted on the 'Justice' tarot card, and this reflects the strong convictions about the organization’s ideology. All 2nd generation Gundams have tarot cards related names.
Besides the similarities in looks with the 0 Gundam, the Gundam Astraea is also a general purpose machine as well, although its basic performance is much better. The suit’s primary purpose is in the testing and development of weaponry, ranging from standard weapons such as the GN Beam Rifle and GN Shield, to special weapons like the GN Launcher. Due to the excellent results that Astraea achieved in testing these armaments, its design was used as the basis for the development of the GN-001 Gundam Exia. To facilitate weapons testing, Astraea has hardpoints on its forearms and legs. Weapons attached to these hardpoints are powered by GN Condensers mounted in various parts of the suit.
Astraea also has unique power supply lines directly linked to the suit’s torso mounted GN Drive that are accessible after at least one of the two clavicle antennae near the neck are removed. Weapons attached here have priority in receiving GN Particles from the GN Drive. The clavicle antennae are for manipulating dispersed GN Particles, and through them, jamming of radar and electromagnetic waves as well as control of some parts of the Gundam are possible. Thus, the suit has reduced capabilities in these areas when the power supply lines are utilized. The Astraea’s clavical antennae are also not as advanced as those on the later Gundams and have a large interference area. Hence, the suit’s forehead antennae are downsized to avoid this interference, and powerful antennae are installed on the cheeks to minimize as much as possible the GN Particle interference.
Of the four second generation Gundams, three of them (excluding GNY-003 Gundam Abulhool), adopts a three-thruster design for the back cover of their GN Drives. Unlike the thruster-equipped cone cover of the 0 Gundam, which grants stable GN Drive performance with minimum stress on the drive itself, the three-thruster design has a different control mechanism for higher propulsion power as well as maximum GN Drive performance, but at the cost of higher stress on the drive and thus lack stability.
Since Celestial Being has a limited number of GN Drives, stable and safe performance is preferred, thus the three-thruster design is not utilized by the 3rd generation Gundams. Instead, they have a new cone thruster cover for their GN Drive that has both stability and high propulsion capability. Astraea was once fitted with this new cover to test the design, and this configuration was known as GNY-001B Gundam Astraea Type B. Although the test yielded excellent results, Astraea reverted to the three-thruster design as the new cover destroyed the suit’s balance. The suit’s design was simply not fully compatible with it.
As the Trans-Am System was not unlocked until 2308 AD, the Astraea cannot use this system despite having a GN Drive. After completing their missions, Astraea and the other 2nd generation Gundams were not dismantled. They were placed on standby during the development of the 3rd generation Gundams, and eventually transferred to Fereshte, a shadow support team to the primary Ptolemaios team. With the exception of GNY-004 Gundam Plutone, the other 2nd generation Gundams were all upgraded by Fereshte, and Astraea became the GNY-001F Gundam Astraea Type F.
- A particle beam gun that shoots out high energy GN Particles. In this era, Celestial Being is the only faction that sucessfully created portable MS use beam gun. The GN Beam Rifle has high particle consumption, and receives power from the suit via connecting to a forearm socket during use. When not in use, GN Particles are frequently stored in the rifle’s internal GN condenser, and this allows rapid firing when the weapon is deployed.
- GN Launcher
- A firearm that is directly linked to the GN Drive after attaching to the area near the neck upon the removal of a clavicle antenna. It is later developed into GN-005 Gundam Virtue’s GN Bazooka. Like the GN Bazooka, the GN Launcher needs to be charged before firing. During early stages of testing, firing of the weapon lead to a backfire, in which GN Particles leaked from the entire weapon. The cause of this problem is due to the weapon being unable to handle the large amount of GN Particles. This backfire problem is minimized following some adjustments, but a full redesign is required to eliminate the issue. Following the enhancement of its internal GN Condenser, the GN Launcher can be used without attaching to the GN Drive. Although using the weapon this way maintains the suit’s full particle control capabilities as no clavicle antenna is removed, it does suffer from a lower output and a limited number of shots.
- Double GN Launcher
- By removing both clavicle antennae, and attaching two GN Launchers to the Astraea, the Double GN Launcher configuration can be achieved. However, doing so lowers the Astraea’s mobility due to the bulkiness of the two GN Launchers, causing the suit to be unsuitable for close combat. Thus, this can be viewed as a specialized ranged attack configuration, and the Astraea is best accompaned by another Gundam. This configuration is not planned, it is possible only because extra copies of the GN Launcher are produced to mitigate the high wear rate cause by the firing large amounts of GN Particles.
- Quad Cannon
- Also known as ‘Quad Launcher’, this is a configuration where the Astraea uses four GN Launchers, two attached to the area around the neck and two in hand. The Quad Cannon is only utilized once in a weapons test. When fired, the four beams of the Quad Cannon fused into a single, large beam with unexpectedly high attack power. There is also no backfire problem for the two GN launchers attached to the suit.
- Proto GN Sword
- A close combat weapon with a large physical blade enveloped in GN Particles, it has properties of both a beam saber and a solid sword. Due to its large size, it was designed to be foldable so as not to be a hindrance when not in use. It is the prototype of Gundam Exia’s GN Sword, but unlike the GN Sword, it is a pure close combat weapon with no rifle function. However, a rifle function is already in the works, and the weapon’s "Proto" label indicates its incompleteness. While the GN Beam Saber excels at slicing, the Proto GN Sword is more suitable for striking and unbalancing the enemy, stabbing then cutting the enemy apart, etc.  With many tactics being possible only when using a physical blade, it is concluded that it is best to have both types of swords.
- GN Beam Saber
- While many countries were racing to create close combat weaponry with energy blade, Celestial Being had accomplished the feat through the use of GN Particles. The GN Beam Saber’s cutting power is superior than the Union’s and AEU’s Sonic Blade as well as Plasma Sword. Although the saber’s blade is made of pure energy, it can cross swords with solid blades as it incorporated technology that prevents repulsive diffusion of GN Particles. A pair of GN Beam Sabers are stored on the back of the Astraea’s waist.
- GN Shield
- A shield made of durable E-Carbon. The armor on Astraea’s body is also made of the same material, but the GN Shield is better at absorbing shocks from attack due to being attached to the forearm and thus maneuverable. In addition, GN Particles are coated on the shield’s surface. This not only improves the shield’s anti-beam capabilities, but can also magnetize physical projectiles, redirecting their destructive power along the shield’s surface.
- GN Sword Test Version
- A test version of the Gundam Exia’s GN Sword. It is identical in appearance to the GN Sword, with a foldable blade and a functioning Rifle Mode. The “Test Version” label remains until the weapon is formally adopted. The weapon performs as expected during the testing by Astraea, and is a few adjustments away from being completed.
- Proto GN Short Blade & Proto GN Long Blade
- Prototype version of the Gundam Exia’s GN Short Blade and GN Long Blade. They are identical in appearance to the ones used by Exia, but have inferior performance as indicated by their “Proto” label. Despite this, they are still capable of blocking a GN Beam Saber, and can slice apart a GN Shield as shown during a weapons test involving Gundam Astraea and GNY-004 Gundam Plutone.
Special Equipment & Features
- The operating system of the Gundams is linked to Veda, allowing the super computer to provide support to the Gundams and their pilots.
- GNY-001B Gundam Astraea Type B
- The Gundam Astraea equipped with the new cone thruster cover for the GN Drive, which was eventually used by the 3rd generation Gundams. This configuration was merely to test the new cover and not a permanent change as the suit is not fully compatible with it.
Ruido Resonance, the designated Gundam Meister of the Astraea, performed weapon tests in and outside of the Krung Thep space colony. These tests also examined the Gundam's ability to perform in different environments. At this stage, the testing of the Gundams in space was the top priority of the Gundam development plan. This was because Celestial Being's existence need to be kept a secret, and this makes testing the Gundams on Earth difficult. The testing of the Proto GN Sword within the facility's different environment that mimic those on Earth had been completed sometime ago, and several issues were identified.
Next was the space testing of the GN Launcher. The weapon had been tested inside the space colony, but there were many restrictions and the weapon's output was also lowered. The space test will be the first time the weapon was fired at full output. Seeing the new Gundam Meister, Chall Acustica's, eagerness to contribute to the team, Ruido lets her pilot the Astraea for the test. One of the toughest asteroid next to the space colony was selected as the target. Chall charged the GN Launcher, and pulled the trigger as the charging completes. She was then immediately surrounded by a bright light from the weapon. Ruido wondered if an explosion had occurred. The weapon had suffered an overload due to excessive GN particles, as a result, the particles leaked out causing the bright light. Thankfully, the weapon did not suffer any damage or explode, and the Astraea was fine thanks to its E-Carbon armor.
Astraea was deployed in the testing of the GNY-004 Gundam Plutone's "GN Composite Armor". In Astraea, Ruido was very nervous as he was going to open fire on a friendly unit. Marlene Vlady, Gundam Plutone's Gundam Meister for the test, tried to calm him down. After hearing Marlene's words, Ruido decided to put aside his hesitations to avoid affecting Marlene and to avoid any accidents during the test. Astraea fired the GN Launcher at 50% output, and the beam hit Plutone on its chest. Outer layer of the GN Composite Armor on Plutone's chest was completely gone, but the inner layer was intact as the GN Field had totally negated the beam.
Crisis of Krung Thep
An unknown vessel approached the Krung Thep space colony. Gundam Meister 874 launched in the GNY-002 Gundam Sadalsuud to gather intelligence on the vessel, while Ruido prepared to intercept in the Astraea. Ruido was later informed by 874 that the vessel was a HRL battleship manned by military deserters, and it was high likely that they plan to occupy Krung Thep, hold it for ransom, and use the funds to go to a third country. Ruido was uneasy with having to kill people, but he steeled his resolve and fired the Double GN Launcher, easily destroying the HRL battleship in a single shot.
Development of the Gundams in space had been completed, and Veda ordered the remaining development work to continue on Earth. A few days after landing on Earth, the second generation Gundam Meisters boarded a transport plane that was also carrying Astraea. Their destination was a town completely decimated by a large-scale battle. Only a few MS is present there now, standing watch over the ruins. As the plane arrived at the destination, the Gundam Meisters were informed by 874 to remain on stand-by while she heads out in the Astraea. 874 had been ordered by Veda to destroy the four HRL's MSJ-04 Fantons, and she accomplished the mission in 36 seconds. The Fanton was known for its heavy armor, but it was useless against the Gundam's beam weaponry. Furthermore, the GN particles dispersed by the Gundam had jammed their communications, they could not call for reinforcements.
874 and Ruido launched in the Sadalsuud and Astraea respectively to collect information about some submarine cables. During the mission, 874 detected a team of four AEU-05/92 AEU Hellion Initiums and Ruido intercepted them in the Astraea. Although the Gundam can move in the air thanks to the GN Particles, the enemies were still more agile. Ruido engaged using Astraea's beam rifle as close combat is difficult against agile opponents. Although beams move at a higher speed than MS, the enemies were faster than Ruido's aiming. The enemies were defeated after a few minutes, but the number of shots Ruido fired were three times more than the targets. He had wasted too much time. Ruido was however more concerned about how he was not feeling as sad as before and becoming more of a killer. 874 then detected an approaching ship and wanted to attack it using Sadalsuud. However, she was stopped by Ruido who did not want further loss of lives. To prevent Celestial Being's secrets from leaking out, Veda suggested recruiting the two people on the ship - AEU technician, Ian Vashti, and Doctor Without Borders, Joyce Moreno.
Birth and Death
Development of the second generation Gundams had ended, and preliminary test for the armed interventions began. The enemies will be the Hellion Initiums. GNY-003 Gundam Abulhool was supposed to be deployed, but since Marlene was injured in an earlier mission, Veda had selected Ruido and Astraea as replacement. Soaring above the Hellion Initiums, Ruido fired 3 consecutive shots from the GN beam rifle and 3 units were shot down. He whispered an apology before shouting out his resolve to be a Gundam Meister. Ruido fired another shot. The Hellion Initiums counterattacked with their smoothbore guns, and Astraea lost its balance evading the attacks. As the Gundam lands on the ground, Ruido chastised himself for being afraid of their attacks. The Gundam has superior armor, a direct hit from the smoothbore gun would not even leave a scar. However, it is still best to evade the attack as the impact from a direct hit is bad for the pilot. Ruido then gave himself some encouragement, and the Gundam flies back into the sky.
Several years passed since the second generation Gundams' development was completed, and Celestial Being was busy developing the third generation Gundams. Words of a terrorist attack in which dozens of Hellion Initiums crash into the HRL's Orbital Elevator reached the Gundam Meisters' ears two days before it was to occur, and they came up with a plan to stop the attack. During the operation, all was initially going well, but Plutone's core fighter soon malfunctioned. In addition, energy level of the GN Particles released from Plutone was higher than expected, and this might caused the GN Drive to explode. Despite Chall's warnings, Ruido and Marlene still arrived in their Gundams to save her. In the end, Chall survived but with a huge scar on her left body and left eye. Her hair also turned white. Ruido and Marlene were bathed in a large quantity of GN Particles, and had presumably died instantly. GN particles are toxic under certain conditions. 874's Sadalsuud and 0 Gundam (the latter launched under Veda's order and was piloted by an unknown pilot) recovered the Gundams and their GN Drives. The terrorist attack was neutralized, and talks were held between HRL and AEU.
2302 AD and beyond
Chall proposed to Veda a shadow team that would support the primary armed intervention team. Her plan was approved, and the four second generation Gundams and the 0 Gundam were later transferred to this team. Amongst the five Gundams, only 0 Gundam still had its GN Drive, the others had their GN Drives used in the third generation Gundams. Thus, during missions, Chall's new team could only use one Gundam powered by 0 Gundam's GN Drive. With the exception of GNY-004 Gundam Plutone, the second generation Gundams were also enhanced, with the Astraea upgraded into the GNY-001F Gundam Astraea Type F.
Notes & Trivia
- The Astraea's forearms are exactly the same as Exia's but no source has listed the GN Vulcans as part of the suit's armament.
- The Metal Build Gundam Astraea + Proto GN High Mega Launcher figurine set includes original new weaponry, but it is unknown if these weapons are officially part of the Astraea's weaponry or just toy gimmicks.
- In the promotional material, the Proto GN High Mega Launcher is implied to be a prototype of GNW-001 Gundam Throne Eins's GN Launcher. A long range, high firepower beam cannon, it is powered by the GN Condenser in the linked Large GN Shield and its long barrel is folded in half when not in use. Despite being very powerful, the weapon lacks stability and has a lengthy charge time prior to firing. Due to these reasons, and because the enemies are not expected to be able to stand up to the Gundams, the development of this weapon is dropped.
- The set also includes a version of the Astraea's GN Shield that has the ability to spread open the blue side sections, but the purpose for this is not stated.
- Astraea is the goddess of innocence in Greek mythology, daughter of the Titans Astraeus, god of dusk, and Eos, goddess of dawn. Her name meant "star-maiden" and she was on the earth alongside humans during the Golden Age of Man.
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 1/100 GNY-001 Gundam Astraea model kit manual
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Mobile Suit Gundam 00P Celestial Being [Krung Thep] Development Report - GNY-001 Gundam Astraea
- ↑ Mobile Suit Gundam 00P Celestial Being [Krung Thep] Development Report - Second Generation Gundams
- ↑ Mobile Suit Gundam 00P Chapter 9
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 High Grade 1/144 GNY-001 Gundam Astraea model kit manual
- ↑ Master Grade 1/100 GN-001 Gundam Exia model kit manual
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Mobile Suit Gundam 00P Celestial Being [Krung Thep] Development Report - Astraea Weapons
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 Mobile Suit Gundam 00P Celestial Being [Krung Thep] Development Report - Cones Type GN Drive
- ↑ Mobile Suit Gundam 00P Chapter 10
- ↑ Mobile Suit Gundam 00P Chapter 22
- ↑ Mobile Suit Gundam 00P Chapter 3
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 Mobile Suit Gundam 00V: Battlefield Record 9 – Quad Cannon
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 Mobile Suit Gundam 00P Celestial Being [Krung Thep] Development Report - Double GN Launcher
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 14.6 Mobile Suit Gundam 00P Special Edition 4 - GN Sword Weapon