As balloonists, we love sharing the origin story behind our aircraft.
Broadly speaking, balloons paved the way for all aviation: airships, gliders, aeroplanes, helicopters, and even space travel.
Similarly to space travel, the first balloon passengers were members of the animal kingdom. The brave exploits of a sheep, a duck and a rooster tested the waters for humans. Many years later in the 1950s the Russians and Americans used comparable tactics when they sent dogs and chimpanzees into space during the Space Race.
The 3 plucky animals miraculously survived their flight on the 19th September 1783, which must have been mystifying for the locals. Picture this: the balloon descended from above and eventually lands safely, only for 3 farmyard animals to hop out! This exemplary feat was deemed sufficient evidence that ballooning was safe for humans.