History and mission

The European Space Sciences Committee (ESSC) was established in 1974, first as the European Provisional Advisory Committee for Space Research, and then as an independent committee under the then newly-created European Science Foundation (ESF), as a means to give European space scientists an independent voice in the space sciences arena.

The ESSC scope covers the whole spectrum of space sciences, from microgravity research to space physics, and from planetary sciences to astronomy and Earth sciences.

Somehow comparable to the National Academies’ Space Studies Board in the USA, ESSC has a unique position in Europe providing independent scientific advice on space science matters to the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Commission (EC), national space agencies, and other stakeholders and has become the reference body in Europe on space sciences matters.

ESSC members are reputed experts active in all fields of space research and well recognised within the community. The mission of the ESSC is to facilitate and foster space sciences at the European level by providing an unbiased, expert advice on European space research and policy via recommendations or reports. Furthermore, ESSC provides a unique focal point to assist European national councils and agencies to achieve optimal science return and harmonise strategic priorities in space activities.