The article discusses the history of the formation of the aeronautic reconnaissance using the tethered balloons in the XIX - early XX centuries. The article is paid attention to the first experience of introduction of innovative technologies of sensing the time - of-reconnaissance from balloons, and also focused on the psycho-physical state of aeronauts during operation at high altitudes. In addition, the article reflects the activities of military departments around the world to create the first aeronautical departments. There were involved as materials the pre-revolutionary historiography devoted to the aeronautics and also reference and special literature. In solving research problems, the general scientific methods (analysis and synthesis, concretization, generalization) and traditional methods of historical analysis were used. In conclusion, the authors showed that in the XVIII - early XX centuries the ballooning in balloons passed the dynamic development. At the end of the XVIII century, the balloons were used for reconnaissance, and in the 1860s the photographic reconnaissance from balloons was first used. They were used as an additional or main source of intelligence information in many military conflicts in Europe and America, their relevance remained during the First world war. In fact, this experience laid the foundations for remote sensing of the earth's surface. Copyright © 2018 by Academic Publishing House Researcher s.r.o.