I've just received a new certificate marking my election as a member of the British Interplanetary Society. I didn't know I had to be elected when I sent off my annual subscription, but back came a very formal looking scroll - along with the last five months' copies of the rather excellent Spaceflight.
My reason for joining the BIS is my upcoming dissertation - cumbersomely titled at present: Rockets without warheads: how the US used weapons of mass communication to win the battle for space supremacy in the Cold War.
I'm focusing on the period from Kennedy's speech to Congress in 1961, to the final Apollo Moon landing just over a decade later and the main thrust of the piece is on the tools and techniques the US used at Cabinet, Congressional, NASA and contractor level to use the race for the moon as a lever to offset Soviet propaganda and enhance American standing among its allies and the emerging nations in the post-colonial world.
I'm starting to look at some of the obvious communication sources and also at aspects of the black propaganda emanating from the CIA, the NSC and other agencies.....and its all very compelling to a space nerd such as me.
Combining my communication and space interests for my dissertation is a no brainer really....it'll just demand rather a large portion of my brain to get across the wealth of information that's out there.
All help and any useful steers gratefully accepted!