Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute

From The Space Library

Jump to: navigation, search

The Canadian Aeronautical Institute (CAI) first discussed adding Astronautics to its purview in March 1958. Three senior members of CAI spent time during the spring of 1958 investigating the level of interest amongst CAI members for an Astronautics section. They were Gordon N. Patterson of UTIA, R.J. Templin of the National Research Council and M.G. Whillans of the Defence Research Board.

By September of 1958 the CAI had become aware of two societies already operating in Canada and consideration was already being explored for simply merging with those groups which were The Canadian Astronautical Society in Downsview Ontario and the Astronautical Society of Canada in Montreal. The first of these was created mainly from engineers at the De Havilland Aircraft Missile Division and was formed in late 1957 by Dr Philip A. Lapp. The Montreal society was open to the general public and so was deemed to be too problematic for a merger with CAI, which maintained strict membership rules.

At first it seemed too difficult to simply transfer CAI membership to existing CAS members and so the CAI forged ahead with its own astronautics section. The first meeting of the CAI Astronautics section took place on 9th October 1958. However by September of 1959 the CAI was having difficulty attracting enough members to maintain the Astronautics section and even merged it with their propulsion section.

Two years later Lapp again offered to merge his Society with the CAI. A careful look at the members of CAS revealed that most of them were already eminently qualified for CAI membership. This time the offer was quickly accepted and in October 1961 the CAS merged with the Canadian Aeronautical Institute. The announcement was made jointly by Dr J.J. Green, Vice President of CAI and Dr Phil Lapp at the "Symposium - Interplanetary Explorations" at the Institute of Aerophysics University of Toronto on the night of October 26th. The merged organisation was to be called the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute (CASI) after a ballot of members was accepted just before the conference.

In July 1962 the Astronautical Society of Canada also offered to merge its members with CASI. Again this offer was accepted although the issue of membership may have precluded some members from being accepted in CASI.