Falling Back to Earth: A First Hand Account of the Great Space Race and the End of the Cold War
Space Policy and History Forum #4
Presented by Dr. Mark Albrecht, Board of Trustees, USSpace LLC
Mark Albrecht will discuss his book, Falling Back to Earth: A First Hand Account of the Great Space Race and the End of the Cold War at this gathering of the Space History and Policy Forum. The end of the Cold War in 1989, he insists, fundamentally altered the existing rationale for U.S. civil space policy. It removed the principal justification that had supported exploration activities for the previous thirty years. Without new initiatives, downsizing would occur. Albrecht and other White House officials told the NASA leadership and its allies in the aerospace industrythat President George H.W. Bush was prepared to approve a long-term vision that would expand the civil space endeavor. As its centerpiece, the U.S. would return to the Moon and send a human expedition to Mars. White House officials set a cost goal of $200 billion, achievable—they thought—if NASA officials focused on the new mission, behaved creatively, sought international cooperation, and ramped down spending in other areas. Offered this opportunity, Albrecht makes clear NASA officials, congressional members and staff, and industrial allies opted for the comfort and the limitations of the status quo rather than the promise of new horizons. Today’s NASA is the result of those choices and those compromises.
Mark Albrecht has been a leading figure in the American space program for over twenty years. He served as the principal adviser on space to President George H.W. Bush as Executive Secretary of the National Space Council, and national security adviser to U.S. Senator Pete Wilson from California. Dr. Albrecht was a senior aerospace executive as President of Lockheed Martin’s International Launch Services company. He has served on numerous panels and boards of advisers to the United States Air Force and NASA and several private boards of directors. Albrecht is currently the Chairman of the Board of USSpace LLC, a company offering innovative approaches to meet U.S.government requirements through privately financed acquisition of rapid response on-orbit capabilities. Mark has written and spoken extensively on space matters. His new book, Falling Back to Earth: A First Hand Account of the Great Space Race and the End of the Cold War (New Media Books, 2011) has been widely cited in the national media as a “cautionary tale of space and politics.” Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard called it, “better than the huge majority of White House memoirs.” Mark is a graduate of UCLA with Phi Beta Kappa honors and received a Ph.D. from the Rand Graduate Institute of Public Policy, the Rand Corporation.
Date and Time:
Location, Parking, and Access:
The Cosmos Club is located at 2121 Massachusetts Avenue Northwest, Washington, DC. Parking is available, or it is easily accessed by the Metro: https://www.cosmosclub.org/Default.aspxpageindex=1&pageid=68&status=3
Coffee and tea will be provided before the event
Dress Code Policy: jackets and collared shirts are required for gentlemen (no ties necessary from Memorial Day until Labor Day); similar attire for ladies. No jeans, shorts, flip flops or tennis shoes.