In September 1783 a sheep, duck and a chicken were the 1st earthlings to take to the air in an air balloon launched by french Scientist Pilatre Rozier. It stayed airborne for 15 minutes before crashing to the ground. Two months later 2 French brothers, Joseph and Etienne Montgolfier took off in their hot air balloon from Paris and stayed up in the air for 20 minutes.
This was the birth of Hot Air Ballooning! The rest is history. Modern air balloons now can circumnavigate the world, would you believe? Exciting isn't it?