For over 65 years, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) has served as the principal society of the aerospace engineer and scientist. Formed in 1963 through a merger of the American Rocket Society (ARS) and the Institute of Aerospace Sciences (IAS), the purpose was, and still is, “to advance the arts, sciences, and technology of aeronautics and astronautics, and to promote the professionalism of those engaged in these pursuits.” Both ARS and IAS brought to the relationship a long and eventful history — stretching back to 1930 and 1932, respectively — and each left its mark on the Institute. The merger combined the imagination, opportunistic, and risk-taking desire of those rocket, missile, and space professionals with the more established, well-recognized achievers from the aviation community.
Today, AIAA has more than 31,000 professional members in its 65 sections and 5,500 student members in 145 student branches. The Institute’s membership roster is also enhanced by its 56 domestic and international corporate members, as well as more than 3,000 professional members residing in foreign countries. In short, AIAA offers a broad and diversified menu of programs to meet the ever-changing needs of the aerospace professional.