Hello Kitty is aboard Japan's Hodoyoshi-3 satellite orbiting the Earth. From Reuters:
The goal of the project is to get more private companies interested in working with satellites, said Toshiki Tanaka, researcher in charge of the project at the University of Tokyo's Nano-Satellite Center.
Developers chose Sanrio as their first private partner after judging that it could get Hello Kitty's many fans interested in space, Tanaka said.
"Through this project we can make those people interested and stimulate their scientific curiosity. We can move their hearts," Tanaka told Reuters.