Action Groups

Action Groups of the Society

These are listed below and have been set up either to run the affairs of the Society in a fit and proper way (i.e. under our Charter, UK Legislation and Charities Commission rules etc). Some of the work of Groups overlap – History and the Library Action Groups for instance with respect to collection of items of historic importance.

Executive Group

These consist of Council and the Finance and General Purposes Group, serving an executive function in the Society.

Non-Executive Groups

These Action Groups are open to all members of the Society and with exception (granted by Council) named non-members whose contribution is considered essential. The President has the right of attending any and all these Groups as he sees fit.

Constitution Action Group

Cyril Horsford and Mark Hempsell.

They are “responsible for undertaking a continuing review of the Society’s Constitution and legal processes to keep abreast of current law and practise and submitting its findings and recommendations to Council.” Meetings are held on an as-and-when basis.

History Action Group

Andrew Chatwin is the current chair and members are John Becklake, Doug Millard, Mali Perera, Rod Woodcock , Alsia Warne-Lee, (corresponding Members John Harlow, Oleg Sokolov, Mark Perman, Alan Marlow, Ian Moule).

It’s role is “to be responsible for academic issues relating to the history of astronautics. This shall include the encouragement and facilitation of general academic work, the initiation of specific projects and supporting the Programme Action Group in the running of specialist symposia.”

This is the most active Group in our Society and current initiatives include:

  • Researching and writing a Biography of Val Cleaver
  • Providing input to and publication of ‘A History of RAE Space Department’ (by Bryan Day)
  • Review and publication of ‘Skylark’ (by Robin Brand)
  • Organizing future History Events
  • Preparation of papers for future IAC (IAA) History Sessions

Library Action Group

Dave Shayler is the current Chair of Library Committee which includes John Becklake, Mel Hacker, Colin Philp, Martin Postranecky, Alistair Scott and John Silvester as members, with Mary Todd providing administration support.

The Library Committee provides assistance in approving Library additions, framing suitable operating rules and manning and running the Library on open days. Its work also includes the collect and preservation of books, reports, artefacts and other materials suitable for display purposes. The Group is also committed to the promotion and use of the Library and its facilities to the wider membership.

This is a most important Action Group, working closely with the History and Publications Committees, as its remit includes the efficient management of a unique and precious asset, our library.

Events Action Group

Alistair Scott is Chair of this important Action Group and membership includes, Nick Spall, Jerry Stone, Colin Philp, Rodney Buckland, (Corresponding members: Doug Millard, Mat Irvine, Chris Welch, Kelvin Long).

Its remit is to be “Responsible for organizing evening programmes, lectures and other events in the London area and elsewhere in the U.K. and for a programme of Specialist Symposia with support of appropriate Sub-Groups.”

Media Action Group

Bob Parkinson has been the long-standing chair of this Group. Membership includes Kelvin Long (JBIS), David Baker (Spaceflight), John Becklake (Space Chronicle), Alistair Scott and Keith Wright. (Corresponding Terry Henley (Odyssey Newsletter).

It is “Responsible for production of the monthly issues of Spaceflight and JBIS, two supplements (Space Chronicle) per year and Voyage together with preparation and publication of periodic special promotional, publicity, website, social media and other material delegated to it by the Council via the Finance and General Purposes Group.”

Future Group

The group is discussing all aspects of the BIS and its operation with regard to its recovery and future success, and considering operations not currently overseen by other action groups. This includes bringing more business focus to the Society, making it more outward-looking and in particular looking at marketing, communications, and the service the BIS delivers to its members. The group also considers vision, strategy, the management of the BIS, and communication within the Society. The group reports to the Council.

Technical Action Group


To be responsible for academic and professional issues relating to astronautics. This shall include the encouragement and facilitation of general academic work, the initiation of specific projects and supporting the Programme Action Group in the running of specialist symposium.

Current Activities
Project Icarus

Officially named “Project Icarus: son of Daedalus – flying closer to another star”, this project was initially discussed in 2008 from discussions between Kelvin Long and Marc Millis, then at the NASA Glenn Research Centre. Subsequently, the project was founded by Long and Richard Obousy and formally launched in September 2009 in London. The papers for this event were eventually published in a special issue of the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society (2010 issue, V62)

Project Icarus is an initiative of the US based Tau Zero Foundation in collaboration with The British Interplanetary Society. It has the full support of the original Project Daedalus Study Group and they are involved in an advisory capacity.

The aim is to progress the Daedalus concept to an improved and more credible design, in the light of technological and scientific developments. The project demonstrates that once again The British Interplanetary Society is at the forefront of credible speculation in a pioneering subject that may someday come to fruition.

Project Kicksat
Project 2033
Project Tsiolkovski
Project SPACE
Project Pocket Spacecraft
Alpha Centauri Prize
BIS Technical Action Group Members.
Richard Osborne Chair
Kelvin Long Kelvin Long Secretary
Dr Lucy Rogers Member
Dr Stuart Eves Member
Andrew Ratcliffe Member
Richard Obousy Dr Richard Obousy Corresponding Member
Mark Hempsell Corresponding Member
Keith Wright Corresponding Member


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