Kraft points to JSC's most famous role - mission control - as the crown jewel under threat. "JSC's world class engineering and development capability created the concepts, designs and development for every American human spacecraft that has flown to space," he says. Its multi-disciplinary systems engineering and technical expertise, which has been built up over five decades "is the envy of the world's space agencies and aerospace industries."
Now, with the shuttle program ended, construction on the ISS complete, and no funding behind a deep space vehicle or a multi-mission vehicles, there is less for JSC to do. All that's left is support for ongoing missions, support of commercial crew missions, and support to see Orion to completion.
These roles demand a staff of hundreds, he says, not the 2,500 that are currently employed. He calls the decrease in personnel need and lack of clear goals a an "going-out-of-business" strategy. From there it's a domino effect. The demise of human space exploration will destroy the job market in Texas, and the strength and stability of NASA won't be far behind.