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An observation balloon was a type of balloon used as a platform for reconnaissance.

During the American Civil War, the Union Army utilized observation balloons that were tendered at around six hundred feet high. In 2269, James T. Kirk recalled that example when attempting to describe the USS Enterprise's height above the surface of the planet Excalbia – albeit in miles, not feet – to an Excalbian who had taken on the form of Abraham Lincoln. (TOS: "The Savage Curtain")

Among these balloons operated was one called Enterprise.

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