KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:
Good morning. I'm Kelly McEvers. Hello Kitty is taking one small step for man, one giant leap for cats. Japan's favorite mouthless feline is currently orbiting the Earth on a government-funded space mission. The Hello Kitty project is part of a push to promote Japan's high-tech industry. But it hasn't been easy for the one-and-a-half inch figurine. Japanese researchers had to use special paint to protect Hello Kitty from cosmic rays. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.