British Interplanetary Society 25th Anniversary Dinner

London: British Interplanetary Society, 1958. Presumed First thus. Ephemera. Maximum dimensions approximately 10.5 inches by 7 inches. Some wear and soiling noted. Event menu is in the shape of a rocket. There is a center fold. The front side reads: British Interplanetary Society 25th Anniversary Dinner Waldorf Hotel Aldwych, London, W.C. 2 Guests of Honour Mr. and Mrs. P. E. Cleator, Professor and Mrs. H. S. W. Massey, Professor and Mrs. A. D. Baxter, Professor and Mrs. A. J. Murphy, Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Stephens, Air Commodore and Mrs. Banks, Dr. and Mrs. Hunter, [and] Mr. and Mrs. D. C. Mandeville. The reverse side contains the event Menu: Melon Refraichi, Filet de Carrelet Riviera, Poularde Poelee Grand Mere, Haricots Verts Fins au Beurre, Pommes Mascotte, Peche de Nice Belle de Mai, Friandises, Cafe. British Interplanetary Society 1933 - 1958. Rare surviving event ephemera. The British Interplanetary Society (BIS), founded in Liverpool in 1933 by Philip E. Cleator, is the oldest space advocacy organization in the world. Its aim is exclusively to support and promote astronautics and space exploration. It is a non-profit organization with headquarters in London and is financed by members' contributions. The BIS was only preceded in astronautics by the American Interplanetary Society (founded 1930), the German VfR (founded 1927), and Soviet Society for Studies of Interplanetary Travel (founded 1924), but unlike those it never became absorbed into a national industry. Thus it is now the world's oldest existing space advocacy body. When originally formed in January 1933, the BIS aimed not only to promote and raise the public profile of astronautics, but also to undertake practical experimentation into rocketry along similar lines to the organizations above. However, early in 1936 the Society discovered that this ambition was thwarted by the Explosives Act of 1875, which prevented any private testing of liquid-fuel rockets in the United Kingdom. In the late 1930s, the group devised a project of landing people on the Moon by a multistage rocket, each stage of which would have many narrow solid-fuel rockets. Their lander was gumdrop-shaped but otherwise quite like the Lunar Module. As it was considered that the cabin would have to rotate, BIS member Ralph A. Smith, who helped re-establish the society post-WW2, invented the first instrument for space travel—the Coelostat, a navigation mechanism that would ingeniously cancel out the rotating view. R.A. Smith and Harry Ross M.Eng. were the aerospace visionaries named on the original patent. Smith also authored and illustrated the 1947 book 'The Exploration of the Moon' showing the first ever conceptual 'orbital satellite' (text by Arthur C. Clarke), which is said to have inspired both John F. Kennedy and Stanley Kubrick. In 1946 the BIS started a program known as Megaroc. The purpose of the program was to develop a Sub-orbital spaceflight that could provide manned ascents to a maximum of 1 million feet (304 km). The craft was made by enlarging and re-designing a V-2 rocket after it was noted by H.E. Ross in 1946 that the V-2 rocket was "nearly big enough to carry a man." The project was noted to be 10 years ahead of its time by NASA engineers who reviewed it. The same NASA engineers predicted the rocket would have been capable of first achieving a manned suborbital flight between 1949 and 1951, and capable of sending people to space reliably by 1951. During the second International Astronautical Congress, held in London in 1951, the BIS was one of 13 national space societies who together founded the International Astronautical Federation. The other founding members no longer exist as national societies, leaving only the BIS. The science writer Arthur C. Clarke was a well-known former Chairman of the British Interplanetary Society. Condition: Good.

Keywords: Space Exploration, BIS, Space Science, Menu, Philip Cleator, Astronautics, Rockets, Space Travel, Spacecraft, Commemoration, Anniversary, Waldorf Hotel

[Book #80579]

Price: $55.00