The National Institute of Cheer is a non-profit* research foundation dedicated the the advanced study of mirth, merriment, and good cheer. Operating from its orbital laboratory high above the Earth, the Institute is on a never ending quest for knowledge, enlightenment, and a good, everyday Pinot Noir at a decent price point. Our highly maneuverable orbital platform allows is to relocate our entire laboratory to any place on the planet that requires our study and… um… expertise. Founded in 1960 by Dr. Raymond Stantz, heir to the vast Lesney toy automobile fortune, the National Institute of Cheer has been dedicated to advancing understanding, improving the human condition, and helping mankind live a more harmonious existence with the planet we call home.**
When Dr. Stantz founded the National Institute of Cheer, he tasked it with two primary goals. The first was to bring smiles and happiness to all the people of the world. If that proved to be too much of a stretch goal, he set a back up target of at least six people from two different US states and maybe a Canadian or two. Stantz’s second goal for the Institute was to become the first major research facility in the field of applied jocularity to have its own laboratory in geosynchronous orbit. Many people were skeptical of the good doctor’s plans, coming as they did before the first manned space flight. But undeterred, and sitting on an enormous reserve of toy car cash, he persevered.
The rest, as they say, is history.