Re-Entry to Earth (大気圏突入 Taikiken Totsunyū) is the 5th episode of Mobile Suit Gundam. It first aired on May 5th, 1979 in Japan and on July 27th, 2001 in North America. This episode was written by Hiroyuki Hoshiyama.
White Base, accompanied by the Salamis from Luna II, approaches the earth. Frau is helping 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 Mirai is ready to attempt re-enty into Earth's atmosphere, and, although she is a bit unsure, she seems capable. They are closely watching the Musai, which is now getting supplies from another ship, including its promised three Zakus. On the Musai, Char is speaking to the soldiers. 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 should be easy pray.
Lieutenant Teniente Reed of the Salamis leaves in a shuttle which he will use to guide White Base. He, along with his crew, sees the supply ship as a sign 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 come back before four minutes, when they reach re-entry. 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, 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 enough to survive. One Zaku, which pops up from the other side of White Base falls prey to Gundam's vulcans, which is the only weapon it has left. Finally, Sayla launches 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 relent for the time being.
Reed's shuttle is hit by the Zakus, and must dock in White Base. White Base begins firing on Char and the remaining pilots, Crown and Kommun. The three close in, and Amuro meets them. He fights Char, fending off his attacks, but Kommun comes up behind him. While blocking Char's heat hawk with his shield, he slams the abdomen of Kommun's suit. Char, fed up with this, slices through the shield and begins his elbow into Amuro's head. Kommun's suit is destroyed from its damage, and Char, knowing 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.
Finally, they've cut it too close. 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 implements the plan, wrapping Gundam in a heat-proof film. The temperature cools, and Char and Dren watch, realizing the signifigance of this.
Char contacts Captain Garma Zabi, head of the Earth Occupation Forces and another member of the ruling Zabi Family, telling him that the V Project has been found. The whole 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. Bright watches on, seeing that they truly have a great chance for victory with Amuro and Gundam. The evacuees look down through the windows at the earth, including the old man and his grandchild.
Back on the bridge, they realize 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.