To the delight of the Internet, a seventh-grader has launched her Hello Kitty doll on a ride to near-space for a school science fair experiment.
Using a balloon kit from High Altitude Science, Lauren Rojas, of Antioch, Calif., sent the doll sailing into the stratosphere aboard a silver rocket-shaped carrier. Her capsule was equipped with cameras and instruments to test the effects of altitude on air pressure and temperature, according to ABCNews.com.
The girl's Hello Kitty doll reached an altitude of 93,625 feet (17.73 miles) before the balloon expanded to 53 times its original size and burst, sending the doll plummeting back to Earth, into a tree 47 miles (75 km) from the launch site.
A video of the dizzying journey has been posted on YouTube, where it has been viewed more than 560,000 times.
Lauren's beloved Hello Kitty doll wasn't the first toy figure sent to the stratosphere. Two Canadian teens last year used a weather balloon to carry a Lego figure and set of cameras into to near-space, ultimately reaching a height of nearly 80,000 feet (24,384 meters). And ahead of the 2012 presidential election, a group of California schoolkids launched bobbleheads of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to the stratosphere aboard a high-altitude balloon.
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