Furthering research, exploration, and the peaceful use of outer spacethrough international cooperation
After the USSR launched its first Earth Satellite in 1957 and thereby opened the space age, the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU), now the International Science Council (ISC), 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 (see COSPAR History).
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. These objectives are achieved through the organization of Scientific Assemblies, publications and other means.
In its first years of existence COSPAR, as an entity that ignores political considerations and views all questions solely from the scientific standpoint, played an important role as an open bridge between East and West for cooperation in space. When this role became less prominent with the decline in rivalry between the two blocs, COSPAR, as an interdisciplinary scientific organization, focused its objectives on the progress of all kinds of research carried out with the use of space means (including balloons).