This paper shares key findings of NASA's Earth Regime Network Evolution Study (ERNESt) team resulting from its 18-month effort to define a wholly new architecture-level paradigm for the exploitation of space by civil space and commercial sector organizations. Since the launch of Sputnik in October 1957 spaceflight missions have remained highly scripted activities from launch through disposal. The utilization of computer technology has enabled dramatic increases in mission complexity; but, the underlying premise that the diverse actions necessary to meet mission goals requires minute-by-minute scripting, defined weeks in advance of execution, for the life of the mission has remained. This archetype was appropriate for a "new frontier" but now risks overtly constraining the potential market-based opportunities for the innovation considered necessary to efficiently address the complexities associated with meeting communications and navigation requirements projected to be characteristics of the next era of space exploration: a growing number of missions in simultaneous execution, increased variance of mission types and growth in location/orbital regime diversity. The resulting ERNESt architectural cornerstone - the Space Mobile Network (SMN) - was envisioned as critical to creating an environment essential to meeting these future challenges in political, programmatic, technological and budgetary terms. The SMN incorporates technologies such as: Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN) and optical communications, as well as new operations concepts such as User Initiated Services (UIS) to provide user services analogous to today's terrestrial mobile network user. Results developed in collaboration with NASA's Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) Division and field centers are reported on. Findings have been validated via briefings to external focus groups and initial ground-based demonstrations. The SMN opens new niches for exploitation by the marketplace of mission planners and service providers.