Space Tourists Can Forget About Suing for Damages If They Get Hurt
In an effort to promote Texas as a launch pad for space tourism, the Texas legislature has passed a bill that limits the liability commercial providers would face if space tourists are hurt or killed on a trip into space from Texas.
The bill signed by Governor Rick Perry last month says, essentially, that a space tourism company can't be sued for damages unless it shows gross negligence or willful disregard for the safety of its passengers.
The bill was promoted heavily by the Texas Space Alliance, an organization formed to promote the Texas space industry, and a company that's already building launch facilities in west Texas.
The Space Alliance says Texas is playing catch-up in the space tourism game. President Rick Tumlinson says other states like Florida, Virginia and New Mexico are far ahead of Texas in courting and supporting this potentially multi-billion dollar industry, and they're already cutting deals that will determine its future for decades.
The space alliance also plans to seek tax exemptions for spaceflight activities by businesses operating in Texas.
With NASA’s operations in Texas facing an uncertain future, it's probably a good idea for Texas space advocates to get busy and do everything they can to promote Texas as a friendly location for the space tourism industry.