Aug 19, 2014
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Hello Kitty space tourist

Aug 19, 2014

TOKYO (Reuters) - A Hello Kitty figure is currently in space, aboard a Japanese satellite financed by public funds.

Visuel Hello Kitty

The manga kitten’s space adventure is part of the campaign launched by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to promote Japan’s high-tech industry and to engineer economic growth.

Sanrio, the brand that created Hello Kitty, announced this week that a four-centimeter tall figure was in space aboard the Hodoyoshi-3 satellite and observing Earth through a porthole.

The micro-satellite was developed by researchers at the University of Tokyo, who are trying to develop low-cost satellites attractive to private companies.

According to Toshiki Tanaka, head of the project, the "kawaii" (cute in Japanese) cat’s parent company was chosen for the first private partnership with the intention of sparking an interest in space among its fans.

"Through this project we can make those people interested and stimulate their scientific curiosity. We can move their hearts," he said.

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