Title: Spaceports and Airports: A Historical Comparison
Subject: Compares the evolution of the airport to the current development of spaceports.
Author(s): John W. Raymond; Edward F. Greer (Faculty Advisor)
DTIC Keywords: AIRPORTS, INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTS, LAUNCH VEHICLES, LAUNCHING, LAUNCHING SITES, RECOVERABLE SPACECRAFT, SPACE FLIGHT, SPACE LAUNCHED, SPACE TRANSPORTATION, SPACECRAFT
Abstract: This study attempts to determine if there are any inferences that can be gleaned from the evolution and operation of airports that can be applied to the current group of spaceports. The author lays the foundation of the study by examining the history of the commercial space industry and the US government's role in supporting that industry. Next, the study focuses on the evolution of airports. Specifically, it traces the roots of the airport back to the early 1900's, describes the impact of WWII on the development of the US airport system, and concludes with the most current trend towards airport privitization. With the historical foundation on which to base inferences complete, the author then focuses on the emergence of the commercial spaceport sector. He describes the economics influencing the sector and the DOD grant program which provided much needed seed money for spaceport development. He then provides a description of the three spaceports-California, Florida and Alaska. Finally, the author provides background on key issues (ownership, planning, certification, and governmental roles), discusses "the airport way," and then makes inferences and recommendations to address the issues.