The former executive secretary of the U.S. National Space Council says a lack of leadership since the end of the Cold War has left the United States with a “broken” civil space program, “and our national security space program is not far behind,” reports Houston’s Bay Area Citizen.

Mark Albrecht, who headed the now-defunct agency from 1989 to 1992, said that with the retirement of the space shuttle, the U.S. space program is “the space equivalent of a bridge to nowhere,” and the lack of a compelling mission rationale will result in its failure.

Speaking at Rice University, Albrecht said his latest book, “Falling Back to Earth: A First Hand Account of the Great Space Race and the End of the Cold War,” “is really a cautionary tale of how a federal agency with a large contractor base, significant constituent service mentality, in the absence of strong and persistent leadership can drift from a primary instrument of national will, a center of excellence and innovation and daring into a risk-averse futile empire completely resistant to executive direction.”


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