A 3D-printed giant panda model was sent into space along with nine commercial satellites onboard China's Long March-6 rocket on Tuesday.
The 9.026-cm-tall model, holding a national flag and wearing a spacesuit, was installed on a satellite camera. It is an image jointly created by the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding and Beijing-based tech company SpaceD.
As the satellite orbits Earth, the camera will take pictures of the panda model with the planet from different locations.
"Researchers and wildlife conservation agencies alone are not enough to save endangered species," said Wu Yongsheng, director of the research base. "We hope the giant panda model, as a messenger of wildlife protection and popularization of aerospace knowledge, will encourage more young people to join the protection of biodiversity."
The 3D panda model will spread knowledge about space and promote space culture in a brand-new way, as well as inspire the public to explore the beauty of space, said Bai Ruixue, board chairman of SpaceD.
In the future, the panda image will be used in aerospace science education and art works on giant panda protection, Bai added.