Bonsai in the stratosphere

Almost in space…

Japanese botanical artist Makoto Azuma’s flower arrangements are, quite literally, out of this world. His beautiful plants were recently launched into outer space as a part of his latest project, ‘Exobiotonica’. The launch took place on July 15 at the Nevada Black Rock Desert, with the help of Sacramento-based independent space program, JP Aerospace.


The plants that he sent into the stratosphere included a 50-year-old Japanese white pine bonsai and a floral bouquet made of different types of flowers from around the world. The selected plants were tied to helium balloons, which got the bonsai up to an altitude of about 91,800 ft and the bouquet up to 87,000 ft.


JP Aerospace specialize in launching everyday objects like chairs and tables into outer space. But their ‘intergalactic art show’ in collaboration with Azuma has got to be their greatest work so far. The huge helium balloons tied to the plants were contained in tent-like contraptions. When it was time to launch, someone ran forward and undid the zipper on the tents, freeing the balloons to roam the stratosphere. A lens attached to the balloons captures every single angle of the flight.


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