[3rd excerpt from Commercialization of the Space Program, J.V. Edwards, PhD]
The Reagan Era signaled the end of government's strong support for the Space Race. Space now belonged to only the interested few - those who could afford it. Historians argued that had Reagan pushed for a military justification (and with the right marketing), then perhaps the space program might have survived. However, without a significant threat to the U.S., there seemed little incentive. Our only other competitor, the Soviet Union, had already showed the danger of reaching too far, too fast.