AIAA = American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

The largest American professional society with a major focus on astronautics. Holds national and regional conferences. Publishes both refereed journals and many books. AIAA technical committees create many of the standards used in the space industry. (See Sec. 6.6.)

AAS = American Astronautical Society

The largest of the American societies devoted exclusively to astronautics and space exploration. (Note that another AAS = American Astronomical Society, is the largest astronomical organization is the US.)

BIS = British Interplanetary Society

One of the oldest professional societies in astronautics. Publishes papers on topics, such as interstellar travel, that are more far-reaching than many of the other professional journals.

IAF = International Astronautical Federation

The IAF is the principal worldwide organization for astronautics with an annual conference held at various locations throughout the World. The IAF is a collection of organizations, i.e., organizations not people are IAF members. Associated with the IAF, are the IAA = International Academy of Astronautics, which is a worldwide association of astronautics professionals, and the IISL = International Institute of Space Law, which focuses on legal and treaty issues in the exploration of space.

IEEE = Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

The world’s largest professional technical society. Focused on electrical engineering, but does a great deal of work in astronautics, including publication of many relevant papers.

INCOSE = International Council on Systems Engineering

A relatively recent organization, founded in 1990, but with a strong interest in space systems engineering. Intended to be a focal point for the dissemination of systems engineering knowledge.

SEDS = Students for the Exploration and Development of Space

An independent student-based organization (both graduate and undergraduate) with chapters at various universities around the World. Loosely affiliated with some of the professional space organizations. Runs both conferences and various local activities.

NSS = National Space Society

Independent educational organizations formed from the merger in 1987 of the National Space Institute and the L5 Society. Dedicated to the creation of a spacefaring civilization.