Girl sends Hello Kitty doll into near space for science project
Lauren Rojas of Antioch, Calif., wanted to test the effects of altitute on air pressure and temperature for school. She documented the journey taken by her furry friend who launched skyward.
By Michael Walsh / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Saturday, February 2, 2013, 5:57 PM
The balloon reached 93,625 feet above the Earth at its peak. When it fell back to the ground, it landed nearly 47 miles away from its launch point.
That's one small step for Hello Kitty, one giant leap for Hello Kitty fans.A seventh-grade girl sent a Hello Kitty doll into near space for a science project, upstaging baking soda volcanoes worldwide.
When Lauren Rojas, a precocious 13-year-old from Antioch, Calif., decided to propel a weather balloon carrying a rocket through the stratosphere, she knew of one thing that would make the project even more exciting: Hello Kitty.
"I liked her ever since I was 6 years old," Lauren told the Daily News. "My love for Hello Kitty has never gone away and I thought it would be really fun to add a toy inside the rocket."
So Lauren strapped in her Hello Kitty doll that her got her on a business trip in Tokyo. She collected the flight gear from High Altitude Science and attached GoPro Hero2 video cameras to record the journey.
Lauren Rojas of Cornerstone Christian School in Antioch, Calif., married her love of science with her Hello Kitty obsession by launching a doll of the cartoon character into space to test the effects of altitude on air pressure and temperature for a school project.
"It took a couple of weeks to put it all together," she explained.
She wanted to test the effects of altitude on air pressure and temperature for a class assignment at the Cornerstone Christian School.
Lauren, who was 12 at the time, launched the rocket from an altitude of 623 feet in 43-degree weather and it soared through strong winds, the coldest region of the Earth's atmosphere and finally reached its apex: 93,625 feet above the planet.
At its highest point, the balloon expanded 53 times larger than its original size at takeoff and burst open, causing Hello Kitty's rocket to plummet back to Earth. But she did not reach the ground. The rocket got caught 50 feet above the ground in a tree, 47.5 miles from the launch sight.
A video camera attached to the identified flying object captured the journey.
Lauren already showed the video to her teacher, who will play it for all of her classes on Monday.
"I think they'll think it's really cool," Lauren said.
Lauren also uploaded the video to YouTube where it has already attracted more than 27,000 views.
She has been surprised and delighted by how many people from all over the world have responded to her video.