Artist Sends Plants to Space for Weirdly Poignant Photos

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Artist Sends Plants to Space for Weirdly Poignant Photos

plants in Space

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Last year, “plant artist” Azuma Makoto and a team of collaborators created Exobiotanica – Botanical Space Flight, sending a bonsai tree and some floral arrangements to the stratosphere using space balloons. Azuma and his team executed the launch last July in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, reaching an altitude of some 30,000 meters (or just under 19 miles). Azuma offers this poetic mission statement for the launch:

Plants on the earth are rooted in the soil, under the command of gravity.
Roots, soil, and gravity–by giving up the links to life, what kind of “beauty” shall be born?
Within the harsh “nature” of an attitude of 30,000 meters and minus 50 degrees Celsius, the plants evolve into EXBIOTA (extraterrestrial life).
A pine tree confronting the ridge line of the Earth.
A bouquet of flowers marching towards the sun, hit by the intense wind.
Freed from everything, the plants shall head to space.

You can see more photos of the balloon rigs they used, the launch, and the… “plants in SPAAAAAAACE” on the project’s website.

3 thoughts on “Artist Sends Plants to Space for Weirdly Poignant Photos

  1. Aristarco Palacios says:

    Don’t be surprised when the seeds fall down and Biollante sprouts, mmh???

  2. S3V says:

    let’s just hope they don’t turn into dangerous space debris that endanger future space expeditions and satellites, especially that bonsai with a frame. after enough rotations on an orbit, that thing can tear a hole in a satellite. 0:

    1. mishong says:

      19 miles up is a little shy of orbit. When the lift balloon bursts, it will come back down

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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