In 1968, a group of members of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) developed a sub-organization within the AAS devoted to solar system research. The first organizing committee members were: E. Anders, L. Branscomb, J. W. Chamberlain, R. Goody, J. S. Hall, A. Kliore, M. B. McElroy, T. Owen, G. H. Pettengill, C. Sagan, and H. J. Smith.
Today, the Division for Planetary Science is the largest special interest Division of the AAS. Members of the DPS study the bodies of our own solar system from planets and moons to comets and asteroids and all other solar system objects and processes. With the discovery that planets exist around other stars, the DPS expanded its scope to include the study of extrasolar planetary systems as well.