For more than 70 years, AIAA has been the principal society of the aerospace engineer and scientist. But we haven’t always been AIAA, or even one organization.
In 1963, the two great aerospace societies of the day merged. The American Rocket Society and the Institute of Aerospace Science* joined to become AIAA. Both brought long and eventful histories to the relationship – histories that stretched back to 1930 and 1932 respectively, a time when rocketry was the stuff of science fiction and the aviation business was still in its infancy.
* The two societies were originally the American Interplanetary Society and the Institute of Aeronautical Science.
Each society left its distinct mark on AIAA. The merger combined the imaginative, risk-taking, shoot-for-the-moon outlook of Project Mercury-era rocket, missile, and space professionals with the more established, well-recognized, industry-building achievers of the aviation community. The resulting synergy has benefited aerospace ever since.
Today, with more than 31,000 members, AIAA is the world's largest professional society devoted to the progress of engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense. The Institute continues to be the principal voice, information resource, and publisher for aerospace engineers, scientists, managers, policymakers, students, and educators. AIAA is also the go-to resource for stimulating professional accomplishment and standards-driven excellence in all areas of aerospace for prominent corporations and government organizations worldwide.