A strong leadership role in the policy domain characterized by open discussions is critical to retaining open competition, the rule of law, protecting stability and seeding new economies. A uniting vision for sustained presence in outer space will require a sustained investment in more than hardware, but also in dialog and diplomacy. Sustained presence in outer space requires a categorical shift in thinking, going beyond “exploration” to think instead about tenure: policies rooted in experience, lessons learned from historic engagements with frontiers, and long term thinking, in order to construct strong foundations and longevity of presence. A mentality of space tenure will center policies around infrastructure, coordination, markets, and resource management.
This paper was written to support decision makers in leadership transitions, especially in the United States, understand the opportunity for the next phase of space policy making.