News Release

The Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) announces Pascale Ehrenfreund

Business Announcement

International Science Council Committee on Space Research

COSPAR is pleased to announce the election of Professor Pascale Ehrenfreund as its new President.

Professor Ehrenfreund has a strong science background in astrophysics and biology. She has contributed to astro-space missions as Principal Investigator, Co-Investigator, Project Scientist, and Team Leader for ESA and NASA planetary and astronomy missions and has conducted experiments in low Earth orbit and on the International Space Station. She has served on the steering group for the US Space Studies Board Decadal Survey in Planetary Science and on the Committee on Human Spaceflight, the FP7 Space Advisory Group, and the Horizon2020 Space Advisory Group of the European Commission. She has been President of the Austrian Science Fund and between 2015-2020 she served as the Chair of the Executive Board of the German Aerospace Center. She is currently President of the International Space University in Strasbourg, France,  and Research Professor of Space Policy and International Affairs at the Space Policy Institute/George Washington University in Washington DC. A longstanding active COSPAR Associate, she was also Chair of COSPAR’s Panel on Exploration between 2010-2019.

Len Fisk, outgoing President (2014-2022), says “I am delighted that Pascale Ehrenfreund will succeed me as President of COSPAR. I have known Pascale for many years and have greatly admired her leadership skills. I am confident she will lead COSPAR into an ever more important future.”

Professor Ehrenfreund will be the first woman to head COSPAR. Of her new role, she says “It is my clear commitment to lead COSPAR as President for the next four years, with the utmost dedication and in full confidence to support the international community that conducts science in space.

COSPAR, building on its 64-year legacy of connecting scientists all over the world, must keep pace with the rapidly expanding space sector and increase its scope to reach out to multiple stakeholders—leading and influencing the global space dialogue and using its long-standing international network to support, bridge and reinforce international science cooperation."


See below for a brief description of COSPAR.



The Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) has 44 National Scientific Institutions and 13 International Scientific Unions as members. Moreover, approximately 11,000 scientists actively engaged in space research are COSPAR Associates. Companies and organizations interested in supporting COSPAR activities may also become Supporters of the Committee.

COSPAR acts mainly as an entity which:

• is responsible for organizing biennial Scientific Assemblies with strong contributions from most countries engaged in space research. These meetings allow the presentation of the latest scientific results, the exchange of knowledge and also the discussion of space research problems. Over several decades providing this service has brought recognition to the COSPAR Scientific Assembly as the premier forum for presenting the most important results in space research in all disciplines and as the focal point for truly international space science. In this regard it should be observed that COSPAR has played a central role in the development of new space disciplines such as life sciences or fundamental physics, by facilitating the interaction between scientists in emergent space fields and senior space researchers,

• provides the means for rapid publication of results in its journals Advances in Space Research (ASR) and Life Sciences in Space Research (LSSR),

• strives to promote and develop the use of space science for the benefit of all and for its adoption by developing countries and new space-faring nations, in particular through a series of Capacity Building Workshops which teach very practical skills enabling researchers to participate in international space research programs,

• maintains and promulgates a Planetary Protection Policy for the reference of spacefaring nations to guide compliance with the United Nations’ Outer Space Treaty of 1967,

• organizes, on a regional scale, scientific exchange and public outreach on specific research topics, in the framework of Symposia and Colloquia,

• advises, as required, the UN and other intergovernmental organizations on space research matters or on the assessment of scientific issues in which space can play a role, for example the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), in which COSPAR is a Participating Organization,

• commissions and prepares comprehensive scientific roadmaps on important topics to allow space agencies and other entities to base decisions affecting their programs and future research on the best available science,

• prepares scientific and technical standards related to space research,

• promotes, on an international level, research in space, much of which has grown into large international collaborative programs in the mainstream of scientific research.


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.

The International Science Council (ISC) established COSPAR during a meeting in London in 1958. COSPAR’s first Space Science Symposium was organized in Nice, France, in January 1960. COSPAR is an interdisciplinary entity that ignores political considerations and views all questions solely from the scientific standpoint.

Further information on COSPAR is available at:

or from the Secretariat:

Tel:  +33 1 44 76 74 41 / +33 4 67 54 87 77

Follow COSPAR on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, and subscribe to the COSPAR YouTube channel .

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