The BIS turns 85 years old!

We are delighted to be celebrating our 85th birthday! Just to recap on the last month alone…

We’re still on a high from our appearances at New Scientist Live in London and the 69th IAC in Bremen.

Our West Midlands branch organised the largest free World Space Week Event in the UK and now our amazing BIS-Italia branch are in the middle of Maker Faire in Rome!

SpaceFlight Magazine wishes the BIS a Happy Birthday! David Baker writes:

Before the Dawn

In the dark before sunrise, the view ahead was uncertain, the picture of what was coming indistinct. When the British Interplanetary Society formed in 1933 the first flight beyond Earth’s atmosphere was still almost a decade ahead and it was more than a decade after that before the dawn of the Space Age when Sputnik 1 was launched on 5 October (local time) in 1957. Visionaries in far-off countries to the East and then to the West realised with their imagination the rise of a new age for humans, where people would walk on the Moon, send their robots beyond the solar system and plan for the permanent occupation of other worlds.

Before all that came the British Interplanetary Society and 23 years after its formation and Before the Dawn, in 1956 came the world’s oldest dedicated magazine committed to supporting the peaceful exploration, and exploitation, of space. Across those years eminent and distinguished members and Fellows designed spacecraft, planned space suits and proposed satellite launchers long before there were any. It is still here and at SpaceFlight we proudly salute the world’s longest running astronautical society as it recognises its 85th birthday – this day, the 13th of October 2018. David Baker, SpaceFlight Magazine.

The Society’s latest President reflects on how our heritage is invaluable to making our future look bright. Gerry Webb writes:

From Imagination to Reality – A promising Future

What have we learned in those 85 years? – To be patient and to continue to look to the future.  We are now well and truly in the Space Age, but inspiration and innovation are not all we need to move from Imagination to Reality.  Political pressures and finance play a large part in what happens and how fast. 

For inspiration and guidance, the BIS must look back to its first Journal published in January 1934 where Philip Cleator, as President stated:  “The ultimate aim of the Society is the conquest of Space and thence interplanetary travel.” and added  “(the) immediate task is the stimulation of public interest in the subject of interplanetary travel and the dissemination of knowledge concerning the true nature of the difficulties which at present hinder its achievement.”

From these early beginnings the British Interplanetary Society has continued its mission: “To promote the exploration and use of space for the benefit of humanity, by connecting people to create, educate and inspire, and advance knowledge in all aspects of astronautics.”

To achieve its aims and objectives the BIS relies on a mix of Space professionals and Space enthusiasts with the imagination, innovation and vision to lead or participate in advanced technical study projects, to promote astronautics and inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers, artists and thinkers.  It will continue to run a programme of lectures, symposia and conferences to entertain and educate its members and the general public.  These include the Reinventing Space Conference and its Future Histories, Fermi Paradox,  Sino-Russian Symposia and many others.

Our best future and destiny is as much in space now as it was in 1933.

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