After the USSR launched its first Earth Satellite in 1957 and thereby opened the space age, the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU), our predecessor organization, established its Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) during an international meeting in London in 1958. COSPAR’s first Space Science Symposium was organized in Nice in January 1960.
COSPAR’s objectives are to promote, on an international level, scientific research in space, with emphasis on the exchange of results, information and opinions, and to provide a forum, open to all scientists, for the discussion of problems that may affect scientific space research.
The membership of COSPAR is composed of National Academies of Science or the equivalent and International Scientific Unions. COSPAR is governed by a Council composed of the organization’s president, National and International Scientific Unions representatives and of the chairs of its Scientific Commissions and Finance Committee. Between meetings of the Council, a Bureau is responsible for administering and conducting the affairs of COSPAR in accordance with policies defined and directives given by the Council.
⭐ The ISC and COSPAR
As a Scientific Committee of the International Science Council (ISC), COSPAR conducts its business in accordance with ISC rules for Scientific and Special Committees, reports to the ISC on its activities, and provides scientific advice on matters concerning scientific space research to the United Nations and other organizations as required. The ISC contributes to the development and approves strategy and activity plans, as well as associated budgets. The ISC is also in charge of reviewing COSPAR, defining review terms of reference, appointing review panel members, funding and science officers.