Dr. Tom Crouch, senior aeronautics curator with the National Air and Space Museum chaired a panel of authorities on Civil War ballooning, including: Mike Boehme, director, Virginia Aviation Museum; Dr. James Green, NASA; and Thomas Hilt at the National Air and Space Museum on Friday, June 17, 2011.

On June 18, 1861, T.S.C. Lowe's tethered ascent from the area in front of the present site of the National Air and Space Museum attracted the support of President Lincoln and led to the creation of a balloon corps for the Union Army, the oldest military aeronautical unit in American history. Hear this distinguished panel of scholars discuss the events leading up to this historic flight, ballooning during the Civil War, and the birth of aerial reconnaissance in America.