Range Upgrades

With reference to your on-the-mark July 28 Editorial [“Range Upgrades in Limbo,” page 18], may I suggest reading the National Academy of Sciences’ National Research Council report, “Streamlining Space Launch Range Safety,” issued in March 2000. This yearlong study laid out in much detail, the need, benefits and justifications for transitioning to GPS metric tracking. It also strongly advocated restructuring EWR 127-1, the range user’s manual, into a simpler, requirements-based document. EWR 127-1 has since been superseded by a far more obtuse publication. Is it any wonder that commercial satellite operators eschew
space launchers – an industry where we once held a near global monopoly?

Name withheld upon request.

Stop Dithering

Nice editorial about no more studies [“No More Studies,” July 21, page 20].

If we are going to get anywhere, at some point we have to stop changing direction, and instead pick a direction and move. There will always be dissenting voices claiming that their paper study shows that their design approach is better. But there has to come a time to stop dithering and just make a decision.

Geoffrey A. Landis