The decisions the United States makes today to guide the exploration of space beyond near-Earth orbit will influence U.S. and global security for years to come.
Cis-lunar space-the vast region within the Moon's orbit-has become the focus of an evolving international framework whose goal it is to build on the diversity, expansion, and global nature of space activities. The United States has an enormous interest in establishing a leadership role in developing this framework. Significant research and national-security benefits are at stake. As an international leader with a growing dependence on the increasingly busy "littoral zone" of near-Earth space, the United States can help weave together the economic, social, scientific, national security, and civil aspects of space development that have evolved largely in isolation since the space age began.