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Hot air balloons tend to attract attention. They’re large, colorful, and often fairly close to observers, making the encounter a real treat for those on the ground.

The first manned, untethered hot air balloon flight took place on Nov. 21, 1783, in Paris, France, in a craft built by the Montgolfier brothers and powered by hot air. Since that first launch, balloons have captured the public’s imagination, most notably in Jules Verne’s novel, “Around the World in Eighty Days,” which was made into a movie in 1956.

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