Society for Studies of Interplanetary Travel

In the 1920s, several Western countries started experimenting in spaceflight and rocket research. The post-revolutionary USSR communist government also encouraged research on rocketry and its military played an important role in this regard. In 1924, a section on Interplanetary Communications (Travel) was established at the Red Air Force Academy. In the same year, in May, the Soviet Union established the Society for Studies of Interplanetary Travel. (Obshchestvo polzucheniyu Mezhplanetnykh Soobshchenii or OIMS), a spinoff of a military science society at the Zhukovsky Airforce Academy. It became the first Soviet rocket society.

The OIMS was chaired by Grigory Kramarov, a revolutionary and promoter of Soviet rocketry and space flight ideas. The membership of the Society for Studies of Interplanetary Travel rose to almost 200. They included Soviet space science experts like Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Fridrikh Tsander and Vladimir Vetchinkin. The Society for Studies of Interplanetary Travel became a platform for scientists and space explorers to meet for discussions and organize public educational events. In October, 1924, the OIMS hosted a public debate to discuss American Physicist Robert Goddard’s rocket mission. In 1927, the Society organized the First World Exhibition of Interplanetary Machines and Mechanisms in Moscow.

Within a few years, the Society for Studies of Interplanetary Communications together with other groups of space research was incorporated into the Soviet state sponsored military rocketry efforts.

Further Reading

Blazing the Trail: The Early History of Spacecraft and Rocketry, by Mike Gruntman, 2004