Space Leadership in Transition

Space leadership has enduring importance, yet it seems to mean different things to different people. It also changes over time. How should we characterize space leadership in the twenty-first century?
George Washington in Mercury-era space suit

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George Washington in Mercury-era space suit

For generations to come, national leadership in space may be defined and judged chiefly by how nations and their subnational entities advance the development of cislunar space and reap (and share) its benefits. Future space “firsts” will be cheered, and traditional by-the-numbers measurements will continue to be promoted, but topping the list of metrics for space leadership will be steady technological advancement, contributions to enduring space infrastructure, willingness to partner and share, and concerted efforts to address highest-salience global challenges.

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