The Advanced Range Technologies Working Group has defined a spaceport and brought 18 states interested in establishing spaceports together with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), NASA, the Air Force and aerospace companies who will provide the technology to make it happen. During hundreds of teleconferences and dozens of face-to-face meetings, basic needs and future technology were discussed. The FAA showed an interest from the beginning in establishing a licensing procedure; the Air Force showed interest in safety and rocket design; and NASA showed interest in how it could fit with the agency’s ongoing programs.

The resulting recently published document provides the roadmap to future U.S. space programs.

History tells us that mistakes in program start-up impede progress. During the Cold War, there was little central planning and several ballistic ranges developed independently. When the time came to establish a worldwide tracking network for orbital support, the several differences had to be compensated for. This time we must have a single organizational chart to avoid making development errors.

At the Paris Air Show, companies that produce passenger- and cargo-carrying aircraft and parts display their new products to establish markets. The United States should establish a space vehicle show where new U.S. and foreign technology can be displayed to meet the needs of U.S. and international spaceports.

The venue advantage for this show must go to central Florida, which has Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Kennedy Space Center, Patrick Air Force Base and two international airports within a 50-mile (80-kilometer) radius.

Add the Disney attractions, cruise ships, the Valiant Air show, the annual Space Congress and central Florida beaches, and a two-week show likely would be well attended.

Bob Brewster, Cocoa, Fla.