Spaceport wants protections from tourist lawsuits

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.

At issue is liability for passengers who pay to take spaceflights like those planned by Virgin Galactic for $200,000 a head.

lawmakers several years ago passed a bill that exempts Virgin Galactic from being sued by passengers. Officials have refused, however, to follow other states in expanding that exemption to suppliers.

Experts, meanwhile, say there is no way to know if the so-called informed consent laws will actually offer protection in the event of an accident because there is no precedent.

The spaceport project was intended to boost the economy in mostly rural New Mexico.


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