NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will jointly operate a satellite to be launched next year as part of the Global Preciptation Measurement mission. The agencies invited young people in both nations to submit their ideas for the mission's anime-styled mascots. They selected two grand prize winners, one from each nation.
This is the American selection: Mizu-Chan, designed and drawn by 14-year old Sabrynne Buchholz of Hudson, Colorado. Why is Mizu-Chan a good choice? Miss Buchholz describes her:
Mizu-Chan is the personification of water and precipitation. Her name is Mizu-chan because Mizu means water in Japanese. Her hair and dress use many different shades of blue to signify the water. Her dress is flowing, which also shows water. The hemline of her dress is surrounded by clouds, to show what the water forms into after it becomes water vapor and condenses into clouds, and these clouds can also precipitate depending on her mood.
She wears boots so she doesn’t end up walking through the runoff water and getting her feet wet. When she is angry, the longer strands of hair on her head can look like lightning bolts, and her colors dim a bit to seem more grey. When sad, she will take the umbrella that is strapped to her back and sulk beneath it while clouds form above her and release a downpour. Her hair also gets rather tousled whenever there is a lot of wind. The yellow in her hair plays the part of the sun, and allows for the water dropped from the clouds at the hemline of dress to go back through the water cycle and condense at her hemline. In the winter, her colors get a little lighter and her dress and boots sport quite a bit of frost. Her dress will also then snow instead of rain.
You can view the other winning entries at the link.
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