Following the establishment in 1974 under the auspices of the UK Royal Society of the "Provisional Space Science Board for Europe", the European Space Sciences Committee (ESSC) was established in 1975 as a Standing Committee of the newly created European Science Foundation (ESF). The ESSC had grown out of the need for a collaborative effort that would ensure European space scientists made their voices heard on the other side of the Atlantic, in an era when successive Apollo and space science missions had thrust the idea of space exploration into the collective conscious for the first time.  

The ESSC remains just as relevant today as it acts as an interface with the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Commission, national space agencies, and ESF Member Organisations on space-related aspects.  

The mission of the ESSC is to provide an independent European voice on European space research and policy. It is the ESF’s Strategic Board on space research.

The ESSC has published in March 2007 its first Strategic Plan 2007-2010 and is in the process of publishing its new Strategic Plan for the period 2015-2018.