Re-Entry to Earth (大気圏突入 Taikiken Totsunyū) is the 5th episode of Mobile Suit Gundam. It first aired on May 5, 1979 in Japan and on July 27, 2001 in North America. This episode was written by Hiroyuki Hoshiyama.
White Base, accompanied by the Salamis from Luna II, approaches the earth. Fraw helps the evacuees, while Amuro fixes a toy car for a little boy. The boy's grandfather, who is all he has left, tells Amuro about his life on Earth, and how nothing can stop him from leaving it once they make it there.
Bright makes sure that Mirai is ready to attempt re-enty into Earth's atmosphere, and although she is a bit unsure, she seems capable. White Base closely watches Char's Musai, which is now getting supplies from a Sodon Tug ship, including three Zakus. On the Musai, Char speaks to his pilots. They have twenty minutes left until re-entry, a small window, but enough to launch an attack. With White Base totally focused on re-entry, they expect it to be easy prey.
Lieutenant Teniente Reed of the Salamis leaves in a shuttle which he will use to guide White Base. He, along with his crew, are of the opinion that the supply ship is a sign that the Musai is unfit for battle, and wouldn't dare attack. Bright seems to think otherwise, and prepares everyone for battle. Sure enough, Char approaches accompanied by three other Zakus, although he must limit the attack to no longer than four minutes, at which time they will reach Earth's atmosphere. Dren launches a small shuttle, the Komusai, from the Musai, which he uses to fire missiles on Reed's shuttle. The Zakus begin firing, but they are too far for Amuro to fire back. The missiles get by him, and strike White Base.
Amuro begins fighting Char but finds that Char is way too fast for him. Char makes it past to White Base, but the others in the ship's defenses manage to fend him off long enough to survive. One Zaku, pilot by J.Q., pops up from the other side of White Base and falls prey to Gundam's vulcans, which are its only weapon left. Sayla is able to launch the Gundam Hammer, but Char has locked on Amuro, and fires. Fortunately, the Gundam Hammer flies right between them, taking the blast, then Amuro grabs it and prepares to fight. He manages to take out Char's weapon, so Char must retreat for the time being.
Reed's shuttle is hit by the Zakus, and has to dock in White Base. White Base begins firing on Char and his remaining pilots, Crown and Kohm. The three close in, and Amuro meets them. He fights Char, fending off his attacks, but Kohm comes up behind him. While blocking Char's heat hawk with his shield, he slams the abdomen of Kohm's suit. Char, fed up with this, slices through the shield and begins his elbow into Amuro's head. Kohm's suit is destroyed from its damage, and Char, knowing that he can't fight Amuro alone, backs off. He calls Crown off too, but Crown is busy fighting White Base. Amuro is called in, but instead opts to fight Crown. Char enters the Komusai shuttle, as the risk has become too great.
Both suits soon make it too deep into the atmosphere to return to their ships. Crown shouts to Char for help, but it is too late. Char tells him that because of him, Gundam will now be burnt up in re-entry, so he has not died in vain. His suit burns up in the atmosphere. Meanwhile, Amuro is thumbing through the manual and sees what it necessary for re-entry. He finds that Gundam has a heat-proof film, which he takes out and covers the Gundam with. The temperature cools, and Char and Dren watch.
Char contacts Captain Garma Zabi, head of the Earth Occupation Forces and member of the ruling Zabi Family, telling him that the V Project has been found. While Char was unable to defeat White Base and Gundam, the battle succeeded in changing the trajectory of White Base, sending them into Zeon territory as he had planned. Garma is pleased, and prepares for Char's arrival.
White Base makes it through re-entry, and restores contact with Amuro, who has made it through re-entry successfully. Bright believes that they truly have a great chance for victory with Amuro and Gundam. The evacuees, including the old man and his grandchild look down through the windows at the earth.
Back on the bridge, the White Base crew realizes that Char has trapped them deep in Zeon territory, and off in the distance they see Zeon forces headed by a Gaw Attack Carrier holding Garma Zabi.
- Characters Introduced: Teniente Reed, Garma Zabi, J.Q., Kohm, Crown
- Deceased: J.Q., Kohm, Crown
- Ships Introduced: Gaw, Komusai, Dopp
- White Base enters Earth's atmosphere.
- Script: Hiroyuki Hoshiyama
- Unit Director: Ryoji Fujiwara
- Animation Director: Yoshinobu Aobachi