In June 1959, under the joint incentive of members of the Royal Observatory of Belgium, the Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium and several universities, the Centre National de Recherche de l'Espace (CNRE) was established in Brussels. The CNRE was an association of scientists subsidized by the Ministry of Public Education. Its initial mission was to promote fundamental and technical research in the space sector. However, due to the absence of significant funds, the center often had to confine its action to theoretical fields. When Prof. Marcel Nicolet created the Belgian Institute of Space Aeronomy (IASB) in 1964, the members of the CNRE were transferred to the new institute.