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Spaceflight Magazine Celebrates 50 Years

Last Updated on Sunday, 01 December 2013 20:49
Published on Wednesday, 18 October 2006 00:00
The British Interplanetary Society's flagship publication Spaceflight magazine celebrates 50 years of publication this month. The very first issue of the fledging magazine - under the editorship of young space enthusiast and astronomer Patrick Moore - was published in October 1956.
Spaceflight, edited by Clive Simpson since November 2000, is one of only a few national and international magazines in existence today that can lay claim to five decades of continuous publication.
It is unique too in that it pre-dated the start of the Space Age and the launch of Sputnik by almost exactly a year and so has been able to report on and chronicle the entire history of mankind's exploits in space science and exploration.
BIS president John Harlow paid a special tribute to all those who have supported the magazine in different ways, and the many experts from the UK and worldwide who regularly provide exclusive material and articles.
"From a relatively modest national distribution to Society members in 1956, the now monthly magazine has grown over the years into a widely respected international publication that is now distributed throughout the world on subscription and through bookstall sales," he said.
"Spaceflight has always been produced on a modest budget and we would not have been able to have the depth and breadth of content without the support we have received from those directly or closely involved with space in some way.
"To everyone that has been involved, whether in the past or present, I want to say a big 'thank you' - you have all helped to create an international magazine of enduring reputation."
Despite preceding the launch of the world's first artificial satellite, the very first issue of Spaceflight could still look back into history and forward to the new age that was about to begin.
Volume 1, Number 1 carried articles by GVE Thompson on Tsiolkovskii, widely regarded as the founder of modern astronautics who first realised the possibilities of rocketry in space flight.
Looking to the future, there were also articles on the principles of interplanetary travel, ideas behind the rocket and the forthcoming Vanguard project of Earth satellites, and the 'colours of Martian vegetation'.
Interestingly, the President of the International Astronautical Federation in 1956, FC Durrant III, wrote in a message to the readers of the new magazine that the public were already caught up in the age-old dream of space flight.
"They want to understand what it is all about... and I predict a successful future for your publication and believe that it will fill a real need."

This release is forwarded on behalf of the British Interplanetary Society,
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