American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is a professional society devoted to science and engineering in aviation and space. It was formed in 1963 through a merger of the American Rocket Society (ARS) and the Institute of Aerospace Sciences (IAS). Both these groups originated in the 1930s. The ARS was founded as the American Interplanetary Society in New York City in 1930 by David Lasser, G. Edward Pendray, Fletcher Pratt, and others, and changed its name four years later. The IAS started in 1932 as the Institute of Aeronautical Science, with Orville Wright as its first honorary member, and substituted "Aerospace" in its title in 1960. AIAA and its founding societies have been at the forefront of the aerospace profession from the outset, beginning with the launch of a series of small experimental rockets before World War II based on designs used by the Verein für Raumschiffahrt (Germany Society for Space Travel).