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Hello Kitty conquers space

Monday, August 25, 2014 - 01:11

Hello Kitty, Japan's ambassador of cute, is on a government-funded mission to space. Tara Cleary reports.

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Possibly the world's smallest astronaut at one-and-a-half inches, Hello Kitty is flying higher than ever aboard Japan's Hodoyoshi-3 satellite. The queen of cute is part of a Tokyo University plan to develop very small and cheap satellites, says Toshiki Tanaka. SOUNDBITE: Toshiki Tanaka, faculty of Engineering, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Tokyo University, saying (Japanese): "We want to develop new ways and markets for satellites to be used. I think we have shown the possibilities and a completely different way to use satellites though launching and taking pictures of Hello Kitty in space." The satellite is about the size of a large trash can and was developed as part of a $40 million U.S. dollar government-funded program. Fans at the Hello Kitty theme park in Tokyo were amazed to hear their favorite character was in orbit. SOUNDBITE: Yuki Tsuchiya, visitor, saying (Japanese): "That's unbelievable. Really? Are you serious?" SOUNDBITE: Yusuke Konishi, visitor, saying (Japanese): "All I can say is that's pretty incredible. Right?" And there's sure to be a song and dance if Hello Kitty returns safely to earth.

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Hello Kitty conquers space

Monday, August 25, 2014 - 01:11