NM governor signs space travel liability bill (Update)

Apr 02, 2013 by Jeri Clausing

(AP)—New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has signed legislation aimed at saving the state's quarter-billion-dollar spaceport and retaining Virgin Galactic as its anchor tenant.

Martinez says the new law protecting commercial space travel companies will prevent lawsuit abuse and make it easier for the industry to thrive in New Mexico.

Officials at Virgin Galactic and Spaceport America have been fighting for years to get the legislation enacted, saying commercial space companies have passed over New Mexico in favor of states with more lenient liability exemptions.

Virgin Galactic had hinted last year that it might abandon plans to launch its $200,000-per-person space flights from New Mexico if the bill failed again.

Virgin Galactic President and CEO George Whitesides called Tuesday's signing a vital milestone.

Explore further: Huge sunspots and their magnetic structure observed by Hinode

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Spaceport wants protections from tourist lawsuits

Jan 04, 2013

Spaceport America has been urging legislators to limit potential lawsuits from wealthy outer space tourists who take off from New Mexico, saying such a bill is crucial to the future of the project.

Spaceport is built, but who will come?

Sep 23, 2012

New Mexico Tourism Secretary Monique Jacobson says it will be New Mexico's Sydney Opera House. Virgin Galactic Chairman Richard Branson has hinted it will host the first of his new brand of lifestyle hotels. ...

$7M spaceport runway extension OK'd

Mar 30, 2012

(AP) -- The nearly two-mile-long runway at Spaceport America in southern New Mexico will have to be extended to accommodate Virgin Galactic's sleek rocket-powered spacecraft, spaceport officials confirmed ...

Branson and NM officials dedicate space terminal (Update)

Oct 17, 2011

With his usual flair, British billionaire Richard Branson rappelled from a balcony, shook up a big bottle of champagne and took a swig while christening the world's first built-from-scratch commercial spaceport ...

Recommended for you

DNA survives critical entry into Earth's atmosphere

19 hours ago

The genetic material DNA can survive a flight through space and re-entry into the earth's atmosphere—and still pass on genetic information. A team of scientists from UZH obtained these astonishing results ...

Team develops cognitive test battery for spaceflight

20 hours ago

Space is one of the most demanding and unforgiving environments. Human exploration of space requires astronauts to maintain consistently high levels of cognitive performance to ensure mission safety and success, and prevent ...

User comments : 8

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Lurker2358
2 / 5 (2) Apr 02, 2013
Like what?

Random rocket part crashes through your house and injures your family?

Why do they get special treatment, which makes them above the law of ordinary people?
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (4) Apr 02, 2013
Why do they get special treatment, which makes them above the law of ordinary people?

The govt wants to plunder their business (taxes).
This is how crony capitalism (aka socialism) works.
Lurker2358
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 02, 2013
The govt wants to plunder their business (taxes).
This is how crony capitalism (aka socialism) works.


Idiot, the government is giving them a free pass if they have certain types of accidental damages.
Maggnus
5 / 5 (3) Apr 02, 2013
Idiot, the government is giving them a free pass if they have certain types of accidental damages.


Heh!

As far as I understand it, the liability extension relates to the passengers, not people on the ground. Essentially, as I understand it, the new law prevents the passengers from suing in the event of an incident, even if there is some degree of negligence on the part of the company doing the launch.

It does not affect people on the ground, nor does it prevent suits where gross negligence is alledged.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (4) Apr 02, 2013
The govt wants to plunder their business (taxes).
This is how crony capitalism (aka socialism) works.


Idiot, the government is giving them a free pass if they have certain types of accidental damages.

That's what I said. That's how crony capitalism works. Business and govts collude to socialize risk. Govts hope to gain tax revenue from the protected businesses.
Maggnus
5 / 5 (1) Apr 02, 2013
See! He sees socialists everywhere. What a poor delusional fellow.
ScooterG
1 / 5 (2) Apr 02, 2013
Follow the money. Few groups are more self-serving than attorneys.

If you really want to hurl, research attorney errors and omissions lawsuit limitations.
Lurker2358
2.5 / 5 (2) Apr 03, 2013
So what? It's a "Fly at your own risk" law?

Maybe that isn't so bad after all.

I can see it now:

"I, Insert Name, do understand that Virgin Galactic accepts no responsibility for any injury I may, and probably will, receive while on this flight."

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.