Fly with Aerocene Pacha

For the air, for the climate.
In the name of eco-social justice.

On January 25, 2020, the aerosolar sculpture Aerocene Pacha flew with a message “Water and Life are Worth More than Lithium”, written with the Indigenous Communities of Salinas Grandes and Laguna de Guayatayoc in Jujuy, Argentina.

Floating free from fossil fuels, batteries, lithium, solar panels, helium, and hydrogen, Aerocene pilot Leticia Noemi Marqués set 32 world records recognized by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI). This achievement marks the most sustainable flight in human history and one of the most important experiments in the history of aviation.

THE MISSION

To open up a renewed epoch of planetary solidarity, with the air, for all of Earth—moving past the human-made violence that incites climate change and mass extinction, and into Aerocene.

Fly with Aerocene Pacha marked a groundbreaking attempt to move on air, with the sun. The fully-solar, human free flight flew shortly after the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. In 1961, eight years before the fateful flight, US President John F. Kennedy stood before Congress and pledged that, before the end of the decade, he would “land a man on the moon and return him safely to the earth.” Fly with Aerocene Pacha had different aspirations—to float a woman into the atmosphere and bring her back down to Earth, without toxic pollution and without exploiting local communities or the environment.

THE BALLOON

The Fly with Aerocene Pacha balloon (the D-OAEC) has a Class A classification according to FAI Sporting Code Section One – Aerostats. The balloon falls under “2.1.1.5 Sub-class AT: balloons not falling into subclasses AA, AX, AM or AS.”

Officially certified and capable of lifting a net weight of more than 250 kg and up to two human passengers, the balloon is the result of extensive, collaborative research on lighter-than-air materials and design carried out by the Aerocene Foundation in collaboration with various experts. The payload capacity has no precedent in the history of manned, solar balloon flight.

D-OAEC Aerocene
Black Skytex 38: 38 gr/m2

Height: 62 ft (18.89 m)
Width: 61 ft (18.59 m)

Volume: 2973.23 m3
Lift: 237kg (
80 g/m3 at sea level)

TOT material weight: 138kg
(envelope+hopper unit+gas cylinder)
Extra Available Payload: 99kg

THE FLIGHT

AT-08 Category

Duration: 16 minutes

Distance: 667.85 meters

ACHIEVEMENTS

Since 21st January 2020, Fly with Aerocene Pacha has achieved a total of 32 world records, recognised by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) under category A, subclass AT (solar balloons) for the General and Female categories in Distance and Duration. They were undertaken with FAI approved observers and an Argentine FAI-validated pilot in order to comply with this renowned institution’s stringent norms.

Wed 22nd Jan
The First Fully-Solar Free Flight

TAKE-OFF
09:35 (UTC 12:35) S23° 34′ 18.8″ W65° 52′ 19.9″

LANDING
09:56 (UTC 12:56) S23° 35′ 07.0″ W65° 51′ 37.4″

Duration (total): 21 minutes
Distance: 1.73 km

Altitude (take-off): 3392.4 mts AMSL
Altitude (max): 3460.7 mts AMSL
Altitude (max overground): 67.7 mts AGL
Speed (max overground): 8,4 km/h

Fri 24th Jan
Wiphala Solar Free Flight

TAKE-OFF
09:55 (UTC 12:55) | S23° 33′ 41.8″ W65° 51′ 39.0″

LANDING
10:15 (UTC 13:15) | S23° 34′ 01.5″ W65° 51′ 55.1

Duration (total): 20 minutes
Distance: 1.98 km

Altitude (take-off): 3393 mts AMSL
Altitude (max): 3432 mts AMSL (estimate)
Altitude (max overground): 39 mts AGL (estimate)
Speed (max overground): 5.1km/h

Sat 25th Jan
The Longest, Highest Solar Free Flight

TAKE-OFF
10:23am (UTC 13:23) | S23° 33′ 41.8″ W65° 51′ 39.0″

LANDING
11:44am (UTC 14:23) | S23° 34′ 01.5″ W65° 51′ 55.1″

Duration (total): 1 hour 14 minutes
Distance: 2.55 km (circular trajectory, unqualified for world record)

Altitude (take-off): 3397.4 mts AMSL
Altitude (max): 3432 mts AMSL (estimate)
Altitude (max overground): 39 mts AGL (estimate)
Speed (max overground): 5.1km/h

Tues 28th Jan
The Longest, Highest Solar Free Flight

TAKE-OFF
09.43am (UTC 12.43) | S23° 33′ 41.8″ W65° 51′ 39.0″

LANDING
10.04am (UTC 13.04) | S23° 34′ 01.5″ W65° 51′ 55.1″ 

Duration (total): 21 minutes
Distance: 1.7 km

Altitude (take-off): 3416.2 mts AMSL
Altitude (max): 3589.4 mts AMSL
Altitude (max overground): 173.4 mts AGL
Speed (max overground): 10.8 km/h

COMMUNITY

The mission brings together representatives of the Salinas Grandes’ native communities, together with multidisciplinary, transnational bodies from art and science, to anthropology, ballooning, engineering and beyond: these innovative thinkers and makers, united with the Earth and Air, spiders and mountains, suns, clouds, and bacteria of the cosmic web, will attempt to overcome the challenges of the Capitalocene and move towards a more sustainable epoch – Aerocene.

SALINAS GRANDES AND LAGUNA DE GUAYATAYOC

Verónica Chavez, Nestor Alberto, Eloy Quispe, Lali Chalabe, Natividad Vilte, Ruben Chino Galian, Leandro F. Galian, Wara M. Galian, Abigail Galian, Clemente Flores, Andrés René Castillo y Familia, Saraí Arjona, Rafael Arjona, Virginia Vilte, Aurora Nélida Liquin, Olga B. Liquin, Ana Maria Chuichuy, Yamile Victoria Chuichuy, Luciana Fernanda Chuichuy, Elifonso Córdoba, Lilia Alancay, Eulalio Loreto Barconte, Jorge 'Laucha' Fernandez, Ricardo Alankay, Diego Dominguez, Feliciano Flores, Mercedes Vilte, David Barrionuevo y familia, Analía Vilte, Leopoldo Cañari, Natividad Calpanchay, Santiago Lamas, Anastasia Castillo, Red Puna y Quebrada, Oscar Alancay, Nicolas Alancay, Ronaldo Castillo, Daniel Castillo, Diego Liquin, Rita Tinte, Amante Sixto

PROJECT COLLABORATORS

Veronica Fiorito, Sarah Greenberg, Hans Ulrich Obrist, BTS – RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook -, DaeHyung Lee, Sungmin Chung, Jiwon Choi, 김샛별 AHA, SOMI HONG, Kim Dohyung, and 신화정.

SPECIAL THANKS

For their constant and continuous support for the development of Aerocene, thanks to Michael Braungart, Matthias Schuler, Walter Munk, Michael Kezirian, Iyad Rahwan, Jonathan Ledgard, Sara Dean, William Shubert, Red Cross Red Crescent and Pablo Suarez, Prof. Bruno Latour.

SUPPORTED BY
FRIENDS OF AEROCENE

Boris Groys, Bronisław Szerszynski, Derek McCormack, Kiel Moe, Nicholas Shapiro, Oliver Morton, Olivier Michelon, Pierre Chabard, Sanford Kwinter, Sasha Engelmann and Jol Thomson, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Centre for Art, Science and Technology – CAST and Leila Wheatley Kinney, and Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Science Department – EAPS, Ludovica Illari, Glenn Flierl and Bill McKenna, Yasmil Raymond, Daniel Birnbaum, Molly Nesbit, Udo Kittelmann, Marion Ackermann, Ute Meta Bauer, Joseph Grima, Andrea Lissoni, Luca Cerizza, Sara Arrhenius, Agnes Husslein-Arco and Mario Codognato, Marianne Torp, Rutger Wolfson, Elizabeth Thomas and Phyllis Wattis, Jacob Fabricius, Jean-Paul Felley and Olivier Kaeser, Nikola Dietrich, Ellie Buttrose, Florian Matzner, José Roca, Theo Tegelaers, Adrian Notz, Friedrich von Borries, Ralph Rugoff, Anna Tilroe, Gayatri Uppal, Sabrina van der Ley and Markus Richter, Mohammad Kazem, Eva Scharrer and Jonathan Watkins, Pierluigi and Natalina Remotti, Caroline Eggel and Christiane Rekade, Marco Biraghi, Maurizio Bortolotti, Bert Theis, Juan and Patricia Vergez, Anne Strauss, Meredith Malone, Yona Friedman, Nikolaus Hirsch, Peter Weibel, Filippo Garrone, Claudio Veckstein, Ciro Najle, Raqs Media Collective, Sofia Lemos, Barbara Bulc, EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc, Blaz Pongracic, Mark Lawrence and Stefan Schaffer from the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS).

WATCH

FLY WITH PACHA, INTO THE AEROCENE

Fly with Pacha, into the Aerocene is now available to rent online! All proceeds go to the communities of Salinas Grandes and the Laguna Guayatayoc basin in Jujuy, Argentina, facilitating their fight against lithium extraction and its devastating impacts on the region’s human and more-than-human ecosystems, while also nurturing environmental and ethical commitments to the planet and its inhabitants.