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Fri, Feb 08, 2013

Hello Kitty Takes High-Altitude Balloon Ride

Seventh-Grade Girl Sends Doll To The Stratosphere For Science Project

Everything from Star Trek action figures to pizza has taken a ride on high-altitude balloons over the past few years, and now you can add Hello Kitty to the list.

A plush doll of the Japanese character was the passenger aboard a balloon launched to an altitude of 93,625 feet by Lauren Rojas, a seventh-grader at Cornerstone Christian School in Antioch, CA, as part of her science project. The doll had been picked up by her dad on a recent business trip to Tokyo, according to a report appearing on MSNBC.

The balloon encountered winds of up to 60 miles per hour at about 10,000 feet, and the instrument package recorded temperatures from 43 degrees at ground level to 22 below zero when the balloon finally failed. There was also a GoPro camera aboard, which led to the inevitable YouTube video.

The capsule with the kitty and scientific instruments landed about 47 miles from where Rojas launched her experiment. That it landed in a tree ... with a toy cat on board ... was perhaps a fitting end to Hello Kitty's big adventure.

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