Fans’ love for Hello Kitty has taken her all over the word. Aside from her many enterprises in her native Japan, Sanrio’s most famous mascot has been at the center of ventures in the U.S. , Taiwan , and China . You could even say the character’s popularity has reached astronomical proportions, just like Kitty-chan herself did when she made a trip into space as part of an awesome junior high school science experiment.
Although it’s been a while since Hello Kitty’s voyage into the heavens, at the time of her departure Lauren Rojas was a seventh grader at Cornerstone Christian School in Southern California’s Camarillo. As part of a science experiment on the relationships between altitude, air pressure, and temperature, Rojas and her classmates were preparing to launch a high-altitude balloon with sensors and a camera attached to it.
All of that science-style goodness didn’t mean there wasn’t also room for a bit of artistic creativity, though, so Rojas decided to craft part of the apparatus to look like a rocket. Of course, what’s a rocket without a rocketeer? Rojas even had the perfect candidate picked out.
Having been a fan of Hello Kitty since she was an even younger girl, Rojas strapped the character into the rocket. Wearing the same stoic countenance she has in her appearances on countless stickers, smartphone cases, and T-shirts, Kitty-chan bravely bid the ground team farewell as her craft lifted off from the earth.
The balloon soon rose out of sight. At an altitude of 10,000 feet (3,000 meters), the craft was blasted with high-velocity winds.
Dauntless, Kitty-chan continued onward, since her journey was just getting started.
As a matter of fact, the balloon’s structural integrity gave out before Hello Kitty’s courage did. The higher the craft rose, the more the balloon expanded, eventually reaching some 53 times the size it was at the time of launch. Upon hitting its maximum recorded height of 93,625 feet (28,537 meters), the balloon ruptured.
▼ Oh no! Is this the end of Space Kitty?!
Being knowledgeable junior scientists, however, Rojas and her team knew to expect this and thus equipped the craft with a parachute. With the data gathering portion of her mission complete, Hello Kitty was now free to sit back, relax, and enjoy her return to the earth’s surface.
▼ Back under the blue sky!
Amazingly, despite the heights Hello Kitty’s flight took her to, she touched down in the mountains just 47 miles (75.6 kilometers) away from where Rojas had launched her. And while technically the Sanrio spokescat didn’t make it all the way back to earth (she got stuck in a tree on her way down), we’re still giving her full credit for the round-trip, just like we hope Rojas’ teacher gave her full credit for her awesome science project.