Caturday felid trifecta: Cat superhero and supernerd, Hello Kitty goes into space, and cat furniture

August 23, 2014 • 7:31 am

Aren’t you lucky? We have several items of ailurophilic interest today.

The cult of kawaii has hit the Japanese space program. According to brandchannel, the Japanese government is creating a Hello-Kitty-themed space flight:

Japan, for one, is also trying to re-engage young minds with the fascinations of space using a tried and true method: Hello Kitty.

The iconic figure, which is celebrating its 40th birthday, has created billions of dollars in revenue for its owner, Sanrio, and Japan hopes that its internationally-recognized animated toy will drive the same kind of cultural interest for its space program.

To get more private companies interested in using satellites, the government has invested $40 million toward the project, Reuters reports. The satellite carrying the 1.6-inch Hello Kitty figurine was fine-tuned over a couple of months of experimentation and is about the size of a garbage can.

“Through this project we can make those people interested and stimulate their scientific curiosity,” Toshiki Tanaka, researcher in charge of the project at the University of Tokyo’s Nano-Satellite Center, told the wire service. “We can move their hearts.”

. . . The “Let’s Send a Message From Space!” campaign will project one message per day from August 26 through September 8 inside the satellite while it’s perfectly positioned with Earth in the background.

Here’s Sanio’s video for the “Message from Space!” campaign. Perhaps a Japanese-speaking reader can give us a translation. Warning: very saccharine!


As brandchannel also reports, this isn’t Hello Kitty’s first venture into space:

Early last year, a seventh-grade girl attached Hello Kitty to a weather balloon and sent it nearly 18 miles into the air for a school science-fair project.

There was a GoPro camera on that balloon, so here’s the very nice film. See where Hello Kitty winds up!

The Data:

Cornerstone Christian school 7th grade science project.
The effects of Altitude on air pressure and temperature.
Cameras: GoPro Hero2 video footage.
Edited By: Eddie Lacayo
Flight gear: High Altitude Science.
Flight computer / Data acquisition: High Altitude Science.
Tree Climber: Woodpecker Arborist.


Second, two cat-related tw**ts, the first from Marie Le Conte:

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 8.01.41 AMand a tw**t from Emergency Kittens:

Screen Shot 2014-08-15 at 7.02.17 AM


Finally, for those of you with cats and extra dosh, you might consider buying some of this cat-compatible furniture shown on Bored Panda, where you can see many other items.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Outdoor catwalk (Image credits: nekomomo):


Rocking chair for cat and its staff (designed by: Paul Kweton):


Shark cat bed (Available at Amazon):


Indiana Jones cat bridge (Designed by: CatastrophiCreations


Grass table for cats (Designed by: Emily Wettstein):



And my absolute favorite, the Radiator Cat Bed (Available at



There are 19 other items at the Bored Panda site. But I hope a reader buys the cat radiator bed!



h/t: Su, Andrey, Grania

8 thoughts on “Caturday felid trifecta: Cat superhero and supernerd, Hello Kitty goes into space, and cat furniture

  1. It’s amazing to me that children can send multiple cameras into the upper atmosphere and get back information and fantastic video (in HD) that not too long ago the richest people in the world and governments could not do.

    We are very lucky to be alive right now. The world of humans is not perfect, but it’s pretty freaking awesome.

    1. The tail might be at greater risk, but in either event I expect it’s not a mistake the cat will make twice.

  2. The Hello Kitty text doesn’t really add anything beyond what’s already in your explanation:

    ’40 Years of Hello Kitty

    “Message from Space Campaign”

    Now taking the “thank you” messages that you want to send from space.

    Search for “Hello Kitty”!’

  3. Even as a not cat lover the images of Kitty’s ascent and return are far more fulfilling than any bible fantasy could be.

    All hail Kitty!

  4. Hmmm, two wuestions occurred.

    The effects of Altitude on air pressure and temperature.

    So, how are they getting their altitude? From the supplier’s website, they use a GPS system. But altitude from a GPS is notoriously unreliable – though they quote it to at least 4 significant figures in places. Someone needs to have *that* discussion when the results of this (or a similar experiment) are presented.

    Cameras: GoPro Hero2 video footage.

    I counted 4 in the video, which would be about £1600 in the UK. Ouch! if the payload doesn’t get retrieved (e.g. it drowns. The video mentions thanks to GoPro, so I guess they got loaned them by the GoPro PR department, which is also useful info for anyone planning a replication.
    I would suspect that they included some mobile phone system relaying the GPS data to assist re-locating the payload. Assuming that the payload comes down in an area with a mobile signal. (Their equipment supplier does mention “recovery”, but only in very general terms. Probably the hardware they recommend changes with the availability and price of different models of smart phones.) I’m also wondering if some sort of drogue “tail” might have stabilised the payload against the rapid rotation in the start of the flight.
    Sorry ; being picky. I was discussing instrumentation design with one of the helicopter maintenance people and a pilot in the bar earlier. Nice experiment, and probably very educational for the lass.

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