With the shift toward practical experiments, engineers and technicians came to dominate AIS leadership. In 1934 they voted to change the society’s crackpot-sounding name to the American Rocket Society (ARS).
A group comprised mostly of science fiction writers formed the American Interplanetary Society in New York City in 1930. The fact that science fiction writers predominated was unique to America. It reflected that genre’s flourishing and the dearth—with the exception of Robert Goddard—of serious space theoreticians in America.
This explosion of space fantasy in the 1920s and ’30s was a double-edged sword for spaceflight advocates. It inspired young people to believe in the possibility of space travel but convinced many adults that the idea was absurd.